Yesterday at Run On! time literally came to a hault and refused to budge a second. Maybe you noticed? It was late afternoon around 2 to 6ish Central Standard time….? Complete boredom - standing around waiting for customers. Time only moved again when I was helping someone, whether a customer or another employee. Then I would check the clock and what do you know, 30 min or an hour had snuck by. Praise God.
I guess the only times I don’t feel the burden of waiting for whatever is “next” is when I have something or someone else to concentrate my energies on. Focusing on me too much can make the days go by unbearably slow. Yet if I’m constantly doing other things how do I ever rest? I don’t know which I prefer at work – a busy or a slow day. On a busy day time passes more quickly, but if it’s too busy and I can’t take a break I start making a lot of mistakes. I get worn out and start bringing out wrong sizes, forget names, or even forget basic product details. It’s like I somehow have zapped my energy and draw a blank. The perfect day has a steady flow, but I still have enough time to eat lunch and sit for a few minutes. Rejuvenate.
Another observation – I don’t mind this “in the meantime” feeling so much when I’m in love. Then even if nothing is going on, my mind and heart are filled with happiness thinking about that person. It’s almost harder to do things that might engage my mind towards something else. The summer after my freshman year of college, I worked in the handbag department at Dillard’s. A new mall had just opened across the city so this one was DEAD. Fill time? Most days I talked to anyone who would listen about my new boyfriend or set up displays while thinking about him. It was new and exciting, and I pretty much lived in my own little world.
I had this weird thought – it occurred to me that maybe I’m supposed to feel that way about God. I know life on this side of eternity will never fully satisfy, but waiting or feeling like “what’s next” could be easier. I used to be more excited about praying and reading the Bible and just learning about God. I don’t know what happened really…did I just fall out of love? I didn’t always have warm fuzzies about my college boyfriend either. He lived in another city and somehow that distance made the excitement last longer than it probably would have otherwise. It was different once we really got to know each other. I wonder if I always do this. Have I kept God at such a distance that the idea of Him is more appealing than the reality? I’ve come to realize that continuing to love God when I’m upset or frustrated by circumstances is unbelievably hard sometimes, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not sure if I trust Him enough to keep it up after the newness disappears.
How does feeling in a constant transition, but never “there” feel livable? How do I truly enjoy life and not just surround myself with busyness and activity “in the meantime?” Being in love with God for some reason sounds I don’t know a little fake I guess. But maybe it’s not so much the being in love part but my expectation of what that even means. It’s not that I expect constant rainbows and butterflies…I don’t think…but still it seems like a healthy love should be more associated with warm, happy things…right?? Or at least the good times should far out weigh the hard. If God is love (1 John 4:8) and to love God sacrificed his Son (John 3:16) then how come my definition of love never quite fits this picture of pain?
1 John 4:10
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
I think the purpose of waiting or life really is more like learning. Learning patience sure, but also learning what love means. Learning grace and forgiveness. Learning to accept and not judge. Learning how to love first and not expect anything in return. Learn to accept being loved and not having to earn it. Learning to love others not because they are kind or “loveable” but because you are loved freely too.