Hurry Up and Wait!

Hurry Up and Wait!

Nearly every morning, one of my children waits by the door.  Backpack slung around their shoulders, left hand on the doorknob and eager anticipation written on their face.  “Dad, can I go yet?  I don’t want to miss the bus!”  “Not yet,”  is often my reply 5-10 minutes before it’s time to leave.  “Isn’t there something you can do while you wait?

This familiar exchange reminds me that unlike their father, this young child has mastered the art of being early, which means the opportunity to learn the art of “hurry up and wait!”

Life, in many ways, is a series of waitings – filled with regular opportunities to hurry up and wait.  We wait to graduate from school.  We wait to hear back from a prospective employer about a new job.  We wait for the day we can finally afford that house, that car, that vacation.   We wait to meet the love of our life.  We wait for the birth of a child.  We wait by the bed of a sick or dying loved one.    We wait for that diagnosis to discover the cause of our symptoms.  We wait for reconciliation.  We wait by the phone for a call that may never come.  The question for us is not will we have to wait, but instead, what will we do in our waiting?

Since Calvary committed in the fall to substantially invest in the renovation and expansion of our facility as part of our mission to bring glory to God in this generation and the next by making disciples where we are and where we are sent, the most common question, I have personally asked and received has been, “When will we break ground and be in a temporary location?”  And as our timeline has moved, as timelines often do in seasons of construction, I have personally been challenged with what it means to be faithful in the waiting.

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were often called to faithfulness, as they waited on God to act.  After losing their homes and being taken in exile to Babylon, the people of Israel wondered what they must do as they waited for God to take them back to their land.  The prophet Jeremiah exhorts them, “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and don’t decrease.  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile” (Jeremiah 29:5-7a)…In other words, in our waiting, we’re called to faithfully live our lives as one who follows the Lord as missionaries right where we are!

New Testament writers weigh into the waiting we experience between the two comings of Christ.  Paul tells Titus that God’s grace is “training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:12-13).  In other words, in our waiting, by God’s grace, we live for Him.  And in Hebrews 3:13, the author implores us the church to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”  In other words, in our waiting, we exhort one another to keep going in the day we have been promised, which is today.

On Sunday night, Calvary’s property team will present an encouraging update on where we are in this process of waiting for the start of construction.  While more details and another target date will be given, this fact remains – we wait!  But, what shall we do in our waiting?  Let’s continue to live as missionaries where we are, living by God’s grace for Jesus each day, and let us exhort one another to love and good deeds each day, while it is called today.  May we be faithful  in the opportunities God gives us, even as we wait!