Doing the same thing for a long time and seasons......paradoxically, these are two things that drive me absolutely CRAZY!!
Doing the Same Thing for a Long Time
I am 99% sure that I get bored/distracted 500 times faster than other average human beings. Did I make up those numbers? ABSOLUTELY! Does that make it less true? Absolutely NOT! It's part of my personality and is simultaneously a blessing and a curse.
It's a great characteristic when there's a brainstorming session going on because I can think of a hundred different things that seem to be coming from left field but I can connect them all back to what we're talking about. Or my favorite, when the teacher or presenter says, "Can we please get some questions for discussion?" That little ding goes off in my brain, adrenaline starts pumping at the challenge, and I will come up with at least a dozen very elaborate questions because I've been thinking about probably 20 different experiences and subjects connected to the topic while they were talking and doodling/writing about them on my paper as they talked (needless to say, I loved my discussion-style college classes haha).
However, it can be TERRIBLE when I'm talking or learning about something very sequential or concrete, or when I have a friend who really wants to talk about one thing for 45 minutes straight. Can I do it? ABSOLUTELY! Our personality is not an excuse for our behavior, and when I really dig in and focus and think from the other person's perspective, I really enjoy those conversations too. Still, it is not something that comes naturally. I used to fall out of my chair and pull pranks on my friends while my teacher was working at the board in my high school math class (sorry Mrs. Meiners). And while we're confessing things, sometimes I pass notes or try to distract people during board meetings (sorry guys, just trying to keep things fun).
God works in seasons. Both in the obvious way (summer, spring, winter, fall) and in the seasons of our lives (joy-filled, sorrowful, mourning, dancing) - see Ecclesiastes 3. Some are short, some long, but it seems like the short ones are always too short. I mean, when a season is good, don't you just want to stay there forever?
For example, SUMMER! I realize that fall is kind of the cool season to like - pumpkin spice, pumpkin carving, pumpkin everything, and sweater weather. But I mean, come on now, in my humble opinion SUMMER is the best season ever! I love to be warm, take naps in the sunshine, and go swimming! If it's not humid outside and sweat isn't pooling on your lower back, then what's the point?! (I realize that this is an unpopular opinion haha!) That's part of what makes camp so great! It's SUMMER!
But as I grow older (and hopefully wiser), I think I'm coming to appreciate the grace involved in the creation and timing of seasons.
Before Advent: The Season of Waiting
Currently, we are in the middle of the advent season. Advent is a word that I've grown up hearing but, until I started reading Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio this year, I had never really sought to understand.
"Advent," Giglio (2016) writes, "simply means arrival - in the case of Christmas we celebrate the arrival of Jesus...But Jesus didn't arrive without a wait...imagine four hundred years* without any recorded word from God - no voice, no prophet, nothing." (p. 4)
Four hundred years?! I can barely sit through a 50 minute math class!
But somehow, all of this waiting was according to God's grace-filled plan. Because, although God's voice may not have been verbal, He was still very much at work - laying all things in place so that at just the right time Jesus Christ, His only begotten son, would come to fulfill the law and prophets written hundreds of years earlier and sacrificially take all the wrong we have done on to himself so that we could experience real abundant, eternal life. And, as we proved our inability to save ourselves or turn to God by our own strength, that long, gracious season of waiting at least reached its end.
What are You Waiting For?
Seasons can be jarring.
In the summer I'm going 100 mph - running around with campers and staff, being surrounded by people 24/7. In the winter, I'm doing primarily administrative work - networking and working with details to make our summer season purposeful and exciting. It was hot; now it's cold. It used to get dark at 9; now it gets dark at 4:30. It used to be LOUD; now it's quiet.
Things have changed. Feel like you're waiting for something?
Waiting to be on to something new? Waiting to know if it's good news or bad? Waiting to find someone? Waiting to stop feeling the way you do? Waiting to see if there's light at the end of the tunnel?
Then, dear friend, take heart, you are in the right season!
Yeah, I feel ya. And although I know that God has a purpose for this season you're in (see Ecclesiastes 3 again), I don't know what it is for you. It could be a dozen different things you may not even understand in this lifetime, but catch this...
In the midst of your waiting...advent...arrival has come.
Hope has come in the very strange form of a baby born in a barn. So "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14, NKJV) cause God may only give us just enough strength for the season we're in, but He's got a plan for all of this life that's so crazy, it just might work!
Take a moment to stop and reflect on this - the good news for your life has already arrived!
Grace and Peace...and Merry Christmas!
Image courtesy of pinterest.com
- Disclaimer - I'm not sure how accurate those numbers are, but you get the idea!
Giglio, Louie. (2016). Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope. Atlanta, GA: Passion Publishing.