I’m Waiting… (but not really)

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Waiting.  I hate it so much.  Whatever the outcome may be I want to know NOW.  I find myself refreshing my email constantly, running to the mailbox, and checking the screen on my phone just to make sure that I haven’t missed the bit of news I have been anticipating.  Really waiting for anything can be enough to make me go almost insane.  I find myself constantly preaching to myself via my own self talk; “Jacob waited.  Jacob waited for SEVEN years to marry the love of his life.  SEVEN YEARS!!  …and then he had to wait ANOTHER seven!  So really, time to work on that patience girlfriend!”  I have these conversations quite frequently not only with myself but also with some of the close ones in my life as they go through their seasons of waiting, whether it be for that new job, a solution to a problem they have, or whatever the case is, I preach Jacob to them.

Jacobs waiting has always blown my mind.  Four-teen years is quite frankly too long for me to wait.  However, I was recently given a new perspective that made four-teen years seem like, well like it did to Jacob; like a day.  We always hear “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”  I usually just roll my eyes, smile, and nod then  I hear these remarks.  That’s absolutely ridiculous.  I don’t care how I get there, as long as I get there, so therefore the journey is absolutely irrelevant for the most part. – ha

Then there’s Joseph.  He was take captive wrongfully at around 17 years of age.  He was then sold off to an Egyptian, and wrongfully accused, and imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.  It wasn’t until approximately 20 years after Joseph was sold by his brothers that he was used by God to save a nation.  Joseph kept close to God during his wait.  Today we could expect to hear things come out of his mouth such as “I don’t deserve this, why would God do this to me? why do bad things happen to good people?” or my absolute least favorite “I’m mad at God.”  Joseph was blessed with grace as he kept God as his rock during these trials.  God did not leave Joseph hanging for 20 years, he prepared him for what was to come.  Joseph was able to tell of a deadly famine that would come, and ultimately save a nation.  In the words of Joseph himself after his brothers apologize he tells them what they have meant for evil God has meant for good.  It may appear that Joseph waited twenty years for God to use him, but he didn’t wait, he prepared, drew closer to God, became a recognized man of God even inside the prison.

Well twenty years definitely makes four-teen seem a little less.  …but what about eighty years?  Well that one seems to take the cake.  Eighty years of waiting????  Enter Moses.  Leading God’s people to the promised land.  Why did God not let his biological family raise him?  It wasn’t fair that his brother and sister got to grow up in the constant care and nurturing of their natural parents.  Why would God do this to Moses?  How could an innocent little baby deserve to be taken away from his loving mother?  He hadn’t done anything wrong!  Moses waited (prepared) eighty years to lead God’s people to the promised land, and then died before he could enter himself.  Moses had his share of doubts and questions, but he still kept close to the Father.  When I think of Moses I think of a man whose face shone from seeing God, a burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments.  Even these mighty men had their moments of weakness, but ultimately when we turn our faces upward God is glorified, and we are used.

My challenge to you, is to stop waiting.  Get out of the depth of despair, and look upward!  Stop waiting and start preparing.  Maybe you don’t have the answers, and maybe you don’t know why you of all people were chosen to go through certain trials, but guess what!?  God has a plan!  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”  Turn your face upward, press on!!  For what man has meant for evil, God has meant for good.  Embrace it, embrace Him, stop waiting, and PREPARE yourself for great things!

Resolutions, Scoffers, and Conquerors

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The New Year is now upon us, fresh, clean, and not even a day old.  2014 still has that sweet smell of an innocent newborn, full of good intents and resolutions to be more.  The dreams vary from the ever popular tight abs, the new business ventures, or one of the favorites that I heard this year; “to be normal.”  There are two very vocal crowds this time of year: one crowd is high on ambition ready to make changes that will last a life time, and the second crowd is full of scoffers, refusing to make any type of change at least for the next month least they be put in the group of a resolutionier.

For anyone that has been to a  gym regularly, you already know the mayhem that ensues in January, all the parking spots are taken, the lockers are filled, and you might as well plan double the time for your regular workout due to the waiting that will take place at each station before you can get to YOUR spot where someone is improperly using the equipment.  You can’t wait until these few weeks pass, and you have your gym back.  What a hassle these resolution people are.

Unfortunately too many resolutions end the same way as described above.  Because of the evaporation of so many resolutions, the group of the scoffers was birthed.  A whole stereotype has been made, and failure has been stamped on the forehead of any individual that sets a goal beginning at the onset of a new year.  All that some see are the resolutions that fail.  The one that wanted to lose 20lbs last year, but instead put on 20lbs by the end of the year.  The new mother that planned on living more organically, but now McDonalds knows her order before she places it.  The truth is some fail.

But WAIT!!  Don’t stop there!!! Yesterday  I was encouraged to see one of my friends celebrating an EIGHT YEAR anniversary of her last cigarette.  I scrolled down my facebook page to see another friend reminiscing about his incredible year of physical transformation a few years back, and guess what; HE HAS MAINTAINED IT FOR OVER TWO ADDITIONAL YEARS!!  These are just two of the many that have made what appear to be life changes, with the opportunity of a new year, and a clean slate.  Did they attempt the same change previously and fail before succeeding?  Probably.  Failure comes easily, but success is most always preceded by failure.

So I challenge you to encourage others in their endeavors.  Maybe a New Years Resolution isn’t for you, but do what you can to make those surrounding you a success story.  Kindly partner with those in your way, misusing your equipment and crowding your gym.  Offer a spot, and tell them you will be looking for them next time you are at your overly crowded gym.  A discouraging word will only add to the reasons why one should quit.  Break your stereotype and be supportive.  To those with resolutions: Go get it!!  Be more!!!  Cheers to a fabulous 2014 full of growth for all of us!

© 2016 Leah J. Dillon
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