Down in the valley

You know what’s hardest about being a millennial is that we don’t like to wait.

Even if you have the gift of natural patience, you still have those moments when it seems like something is taking forever.

Welcome to my world. Ever since I was little, I always thought once I got to be a grown up I’d be able to do al the things I wanted to do now. Then when I got to be 13 or so, I started reading books that told me I didn’t have to wait for adulthood to do amazing things. That may be true. But it sure seemed like the amazing things I in particular wanted to do were limited by age. Now I’m finally old enough to do everything except drink and run for a Political office (and i don’t want to do either of those) and yet  I’m at one of those times in life where I’m still waiting for things to happen.

Once you get mature enough at one age to admit that you aren’t ready for certain things yet, you turn a bend, and think that you’re ready now, at this new age. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t yet. You’re still raring to go.

But you’re stuck waiting again. I have those moments every now and then where I want to scream, to cry, to rant about how unfair it is. But when I calm down and return to my normal state of composure, I remember the other things those books told me. When you’re waiting, you need to make it productive.

It’s so easy to get lazy when nothing’s happening outside your own little world of household events. (Unless you’re the type who thrives on that, and good for you then.) But that’s the trap of boredom. I don’t believe any of us dreamers have never fallen into it at least once, if you’re lucky, the one time is enough to scare you into never being idle again; If you’re like me, you have to remind yourself over, and over,  and over.

There’s this song I used to sing all the time when I was having one such season of waiting.

This is my prayer in the desert, when all that’s within me feels dry, this is my prayer in my hunger and need, my God is the God who provides.

And this is my prayer in the fire, in weakness or trial or pain, there is a faith proved of more worth than gold, so refine me Lord through the flame.

What this means, if you put it in non-religious lingo, is that our attitude in times of waiting needs to be that we keep hoping for the better times to come, and that when the waiting is actually painful (and oh is it, at times) our hope and our patience then become worth something. Asking God to refine us is our way of saying we want this time to be one where we learn to deal with problems better, and become stronger.

To make something our prayer is the same as to make it our hope, to make it our creed, to make it the thing we stake all on. If you’re prayer is not like that, then you have not put much into it. A prayer is plea, and it’s a thank you at the same time.

So that’s what I want my prayer to be while I’m waiting. And it’s important to have seasons of waiting, because then it produces the humility of this last verse in the song:

This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and providence flow; I know I’m filled to be emptied again, the seed I’ve received I will sow. (Hillsong, Desert song.)

“I really wish I could just stay on the mountain, but I must go back down into the valley.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.



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