Thursday, March 06, 2014

Journey - Faith Jam

I hate not knowing where I'm going.  It's why I much prefer trains to buses.  When you are on a train, the train has to follow the tracks, there are not going to be any detours (as long as you get on the right train).  On a bus...what if the driver decides to change route...there is nothing to stop him or her from doing so!

It's why I find my life difficult right now.  I don't know where we're going.  I don't know whether we are going to move city/state this year, I don't know if I'm going to find a job. It is unsettling and I don't like it very much.

When change is on the horizon, I feel like the whining kid in the backseat on a long car journey...are we nearly there yet????  If something good is planned, I enjoy the anticipation of waiting but if it is a major change or something less wonderful, I hate the waiting time.

In the church, we practise waiting twice a year.  In Advent we wait in wondrous hope for the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  And during Lent we solemnly wait to remember Jesus' death but then holding our breath just for a few days we are then able to celebrate with joy his resurrection and share in the new life that he offers us at Easter.

Sometimes waiting means to share in the sufferings of Christ.  When I remember the one hundred or so days that I was waiting for my visa, those were days marked with suffering for me.  I didn't know how long I was going to be waiting.  I was homeless.  I was separated from my husband.  I was single-parenting two small children.  And even when I reached my destination, I wasn't going to know anybody there.  It was a long, hard wait.

I lived day by day, I lived by faith, I lived through the words of the psalms, I lived through the eyes of my children, I lived through new understanding, I lived through a period of grief and heartache.  The waiting changed me, it drew me closer to God.  It was another step on the curriculum of learning patience.

Then after the days and days of waiting for the visa, for the passport to be returned, for it to be the day, it came.  Then came the hours of waiting.  At the airport, on the airplane.  But these hours seemed easier.  We were nearly there - we were on the journey - we were limited in what we were able to do.  The only possessions we had access to were our hand luggage (admittedly there was a LOT).  The only space we had were our seats.  The destination was decided, and the pilot was responsible for getting us there and we didn't need to worry about that.  Constrained by those boundaries, I was more relaxed than I'd been in months.  I no longer had the illusion of having to be in control.

The other thing that helps a long journey, like that twelve hour flight with two small children, is to have things to aim for along the way.  We were filling the time getting settled into our seats and checking everything out until it was time to buckle our seatbelts and then we filled the time until it was take-off, then there was meal-time, then (please God) sleep time!!  Knowing that there are pit-stops on a journey makes it less intimidating.  Sometimes the big picture is too big to take in: I was emigrating, but thinking like that made me freak out inside, so instead it was just a transatlantic flight, the same as many I had been on before (except I was emigrating..shh).

If I view my life like I did that journey, I would probably find more peace.  I am not the pilot. I only need a few possessions for along the way (and probably only a small proportion of them in reality - I tend to over pack) and if I stop worrying about when I'm going to get there, I am a much more pleasant travelling companion!

Impatience and frustration are not attractive qualities.  Excitement and anticipation are definitely preferable when waiting for something good.  And if waiting for something that might bring sorrow, I want to strive for a quiet hope; not necessarily that the bad thing won't happen, but that God will work it all for good.

What journey are you on?  What kind of travelling companion are you?


  1. I am the kind that once on a journey likes to get to my destination as quickly as possible. If the goal is to get there I want to get there NOW, if the journey is the goal, I am okay with sightseeing. With God, I am a I wanna get there NOW GOD kind of gal who is trying to learn how to sight see while I travel.

  2. "Sometimes waiting means to share in the sufferings of Christ." This really struck me, Princess Morag. It reminds me that the more we want to be like Christ, the more we need to know the "fellowship of His sufferings." Thank you.

  3. I love this post! How many times have I asked God, "Are we there yet?" Thank you for sharing!