If you’re anything like me, you’d much rather focus on the Emerald City than the Yellow Brick Road.
There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and keeping them in mind, or fixing our hope on something we’re praying and believing for, but in the end, if we are so focused on our unfilled desires, we may end up mismanaging our current assignment. Or missing the glory of NOW.
I’ve been camping right there for months. Waiting.
Heck – truth be told, I’ve been waiting 29 years. Strangled, in some ways, from relishing today. Why I ask myself, do I feel so shut down and dry – like the leaves that collect in the corners of my yard after Florida’s January autumn season?
The answer comes, as it often does, when I notice something that’s right under my nose. I fold the lavender-scented clothes from the dryer (love those dryer balls!) and something pink floats past the window. I venture outside to see what it is and there’s this year’s pink tabebuia in full bloom. When did that happen?
It’s the old money metaphor about yesterday being spent cash, tomorrow being a promissory note, but today being ready cash, which is more or less true. The problem is, we’ve all been living on credit for so long it’s hard to live on a cash basis only. But I wonder how much I’m missing because of it.
It would be easy for me to focus on the coming day when Dori’s cancer is gone and Texas is free to move forward with plans to finish our book, welcome her new grandchild, and live her life. As a mother, where they are in life impacts me. Every day. But when I do that, I miss the pink tab in full bloom and the burning bushes that line the yellow brick road.
Whenever I allow myself to fall into a bored, tired-of-waiting, when-are-things-going-to-change mode, I become vulnerable to my besetting sins: shopping or eating. These are things I do to make myself feel better. Or moving the furniture (there’s only so many arrangements in this small house).
What do you do? How do you handle the messy middle? Those long days of endless waiting or the past you cannot change – yesterday’s has beens?
Sometimes I get bitter or emotionally discouraged over the delays. That’s far more dangerous to my heart, something I’m told to guard against in Proverbs.
Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts. ~Proverbs 4:23 MSG
The opposite focus is as derailing. I’ll just keep my eyes on my hopes and dreams and sit back and wait. The Emerald City will show up sooner or later.
Each morning I wake up to the life I’m called to live today – smack dab between the already and the not yet. And so do you. We can struggle with a past and whip ourselves over what might have been. Or we may be so attuned to what we’re waiting for that today loses it’s shine. That’s a credit card we need to cut in half.
I refuse to miss the absolute glory of this present moment. The one we get to spend just once. To notice the splendor of blooms falling like pink snow in my my back yard or to relish the clean scent of fresh laundry, to remember to be thankful for Sunday’s sermon reminding me that daily surrender to this moment is a spiritual act of worship, to smile when Bob comes home from work and give him a hug.
I want this time of waiting to be active – leaning into Jesus, learning to hear His voice–not only in my Bible but in myriads of other details that surround each beautiful day.
The yellow brick road is the path that is set before me. It’s today’s part of the race I’m called to run.
Father, my heart’s desire is to run this path with patience, endurance, and always joy. Even when nothing changes, answers seem slower than usual, and time creeps by. You are right here, right now, and that makes today a magnificent journey. Traveling with You makes the ordinary extraordinary. Thank you for the amazing power that is at work in and around me because of Your Spirit. Let me seize this beautiful day and live it fully for the sake of your kingdom.