Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wait on the Lord: My theme for 2010

This, for me, is one of the harder to define terms in the Bible. I feel a little vulnerable publishing this post. Maybe I’m the only one who has trouble wrapping my mind around the meaning of “waiting on God.” I have looked up all the variations of wait, waiting, waiteth or waited in Scripture. Here are the most common lexicon meanings:

Hope, look for, expect
To tarry, to wait or to hope for (it always amuses me when a word is used in its own definition)
Inspect, examine, hope, wait upon (as in a restaurant waiter who takes your order)
To be silent, to be still, die
Webster’s 1828 defines “wait” as:

WAIT, v.i. [The sense is to stop, or to continue.]
1. To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary, till the arrival of some person or event. Thus we say, I went to the place of meeting, and there waited an hour for the moderator or chairman. I will go to the hotel, and there wait till you come. We will wait for the mail.
2. To stay proceedings, or suspend any business, in expectation of some person, event, or the arrival of some hour. The court was obliged to wait for a witness.
3. To rest in expectation and patience.
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job 14.
4. To stay; not to depart.
Haste, my dear father, tis no time to wait.
5. To stay; to continue by reason of hindrance.
6. To lie in ambush, as an enemy.
Such ambush waited to intercept thy way.
To wait on or upon, to attend, as a servant; to perform menial services for; as, to wait on a gentleman; to wait on the table.
To wait on,
1. To attend; to go to see; to visit on business or for ceremony. Tell the gentleman I will wait on him at ten o’clock.
2. To pay servile or submissive attendance.
3. To follow, as a consequence; as the ruin that waits on such a supine temper. [Instead of this, we use await.]
4. To look watchfully.
It is a point of cunning to wait on him with whom you speak, with your eye. [Unusual.]
5. To attend to; to perform.
Aaron and his sons shall wait on their priests office. Numbers 3, 8. Romans 12.
6. To be ready to serve; to obey. Psalm 25. Proverbs 20.
To wait at, to attend in service; to perform service at. 1 Corinthians 9.
To wait for, to watch, as an enemy. Job 15.

Phew! That’s a lot to digest!! Need a minute? Me too. Putting on the tea kettle and I’ll be right back!

Okay. Now… how does this fit into my theme for the year?

I’m a goal oriented person. A task oriented person. I want a job to do all the time. I can only handle so much free time before I get annoyed, or even depressed because after a day of doing nothing with purpose I’ve convinced myself that I’m wasting my life. I know- I have issues. I don’t know why I’m like this or how I came to be the psycho that I now am. Really, this blog is a result of my need to be doing something. I know that many people view blogs as just a giant time waster, and I’m sure many are- even this one sometimes. But it makes me feel like I’m being productive. To record the days happenings, to establish or strengthen friendships, to be inspired by other’s writings, to develop my own writings, hopefully be an encouragement to someone, or at least make them smile as they think “this girl is whacked”, to relay helpful information, yada yada yada. It’s not curing cancer but hey, it’s not watching TV or reading a corny Janette Oke book either. Not that I’m anti-Janette Oke. I think I’ve read all of her books. It’s like setting your mind on cruise control and loosing yourself in the world of perfect heroes and elegant ladies roughing it in the Canadian frontier. How did we get on this subject?

Focus, Kayte, focus!

I am in a really calm season of life. Most of my time is spent inside my home, keeping a small house clean and 2 small girls clean. And fed. Yes, the law says we have to feed them, doesn’t it? Of course there are days when just accomplishing those deeds is quite enough to keep my plate full. But I get to feeling restless. I want to DO DO DO!!! (My sister in law who is 30 going on 13 would be laughing right now because I said “doo doo”.)

I am far too inclined to get ahead of God. To decide for Him what I should tackle next or what direction our family or ministry should go. I happen to think all my ideas are brilliant. Until I figure out that they are not.

A while back, I made this silly looking wheel to represent a Christian’s life. Don’t laugh at it… circles are hard for me! The spokes are showing a few of the areas in a Christian’s life (of course we have many more than what I included on this visual aid) and the hub, or center of our life, is Christ. As we go about our life or just each day, we might be tempted to jump to the spoke that we most enjoy or think most needful at the time. Or to add spokes according to our own wisdom. But that is not the recipe for success. Now obviously there are spokes to every Christian's life that we don't have to wait for a specific directive from God to add; the Bible tells us what spokes we should ALL include in our lives. But there are some spokes that are more specific to each individual and what God has for them. The point is that before going on to the next spoke, or adding or removing a spoke, we need to go back to the center. Returning to the center (Christ) to find our way to the next spoke is what I'm calling "waiting on the Lord."

I gave part of my lesson from the story of Cushi and Ahimaaz running to tell David important news. (I Sam. 18) Ahimaaz ran very fast and reached the king first, but he did not have a complete message to relay. Meanwhile, Cushi approached shortly after and had all the details David needed to know. I am prone to be an Ahimaaz. Seth is prone to be a Cushi. He’s much slower to get his engines in gear but when he does, he is confident that it’s a job from God and is right to do. I’m more of the let’s just get started and if it is not right, we’ll just figure that out on the way. And then like Ahimaaz, I'm tired and out of breathe and wondering why all my efforts weren't productive. Because I didn't wait long enough for God to lay out the plan for me.

So for me, what this theme of “waiting on the Lord” means is both the waiting like a waiter waits on your order, “God what do have for my life today?” and patiently waiting for His answer. Both of these contexts are against my natural strengths. Probably most of us don’t like taking orders, or being patient while the orders come in. I was struck by the word “silent” in the definitions from the lexicon. Keeping my soul quiet so that I may hear what God has to say to me.

“My soul, wait thou only on God; for my expectation is from God.” Psalm 62:5

“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalms 27:14

Most of this has been philosophical but now I’m going to be practical and pointed. The things I’m specifically working on waiting on the Lord about:

- Our ministry. I want to see growth, both in number and spiritually. I can occupy myself for hours thinking of sure fire ways to do this but ultimately, this is GOD’S church and GOD’S youth group and He will give the increase. I know this may seem like a statement the youth pastor might say and not his wife but what can I say… I’m whacked.

- Our housing situation. Since May ’09 we’ve been on the verge on moving to a different parsonage… but well… it’s a long ol’ boring story. Basically, we’re just praying for God to make his plan for our living arrangements known.

- Our personal financial future.

Maybe some of what I’m getting at is just simply “plodding”, as I’ve heard others call it. Just cheerfully going about the day to day mundane nose wiping and mess cleaning and story book reading and laundry folding while NOT feeling like I’m doing wasting my life or am making no real impact on the world. I in no way mean to diminish my role as wife and mommy. I’m working on viewing the less than glamorous aspects of domestic life as being God ordained and of utmost importance… because it truly is.

My lay person definition of “waiting on the Lord”: letting God direct my steps in His own time. Not allowing frustration, impatience or preconceived ideas to hinder Him.


Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

Good post Kayte, I think I'm going to "steal" you theme...mostly because I didn't know I should have one till now

Laura Kauffman said...

Oh Katye how much I can relate to everything you posted about! You are right: we are a lot alike. Are you a first born like me, by the way? LOL I am the same way-I simply cannot "sit" there and not have something in my hands or I feel like I am wasting my time.

Amy ♥ DailyPleasures said...

Oh, yes, I like lay person terms, and that is a very good one. And have I ever told you that you are extremely amusing? I don't think you need a friend or blog readers to have a good conversation. You seem to do just fine by yourself. And I hate to admit it, but reading it aloud just makes it all better. (And a 40yo, a 16yo, and 10yo laughed at the doo-doo, too. That IS Christopher's sense of humor, though, so his uproarus laughter helped it along some. ;)

We really need to get together. I'm just waiting for this latest virus to get through everyone before we make some plans.

Michelle said...

Great post Kayte! I LOVE to get the Bible and dictionary and concordance out and find out what a phrase really means also. Since I started reading the blog I think this originated from, I decided on "Looking unto Jesus". I am actually working on a post quite similar to this one...with a different emphasis though.