Discipline of Waiting

We do not read much after she is told about her pending pregnancy of how Mary must have felt about what was about to happen. There is some detail in the Bible, but not much. But what is clear is her patient waiting; waiting for what she knew was going to happen; waiting because she knew that what was about to happen was coming from God. She gave herself to God, gave herself to the waiting and gave herself despite of herself.

Waiting is often a difficult thing. It is difficult to practice, especially in a culture that is becoming more and more immediate in its response and activity.

There is something that is both challenging and yet prophetic about the discipline of waiting that maybe our culture could do with experiencing, noticing and even recognising that it is missing out on.

Amidst the activity, all the expectations of all that people think should happen at this time, where are we waiting? What are we showing to the culture around us if we do not engage in the discipline of the waiting?

We can wait expectantly – this is different to impatience – and we should be expectant about what God is doing and will do. But as Mary knew what it was that she was waiting for, what is it that you are expectant for this season? What are you waiting for God to deliver in your life?

Wait in expectancy, but wait in spending time with God, so you know what it is that he wants to give you.

Persistance

So much that we think about in the Christmas happenings only really happened because of a level of persistence of the people involved. Mary and Joseph had to persist through the discomfort of pregnancy, tough weather conditions (probably) and being rejected at so many places, but needing, wanting, believing that there was somewhere for them to stay.

The wise men traveled from afar. They followed the star, not knowing where it would go, but knowing that they wanted, had to, follow where it led, not knowing how long it would take to get wherever it was they were heading.

We have no idea about how long the labour was for Mary, but persistence is one of those things that has to happen when getting through a pregnancy.

Joseph and Mary’s travels, both to Bethlehem and then after the birth to keep themselves and Jesus safe, would not have been easy, and they would have had to keep going.No doubt at times they would have wanted to stop and just be.

In a culture today where it is easy to flit from one thing to another, where answers are easier to come by, where things don’t have to be worked at for as long, or as hard as maybe in previous decades, have we lost something of what it means to be persistent, not to give up?

Is there a recommitment that God is asking of us at this Advent time, to persist in all that he has called for us, all that he is asking us to be and do, and all that lies ahead for us?

God himself never gave up and never gives up on us, which is why he persisted and sent Jesus for us. If God is persistent for us and about us, could we, with thankful hearts, persist that little bit more in all that he is asking of us?

Do we ever bother to spend time observing?

Observation is one of those things so many of us think we do, think we understand and maybe even think we do quite well, but do we actually spend time observing?

And when we do spend the time, are we aware of the perspective from which we do the observing?

Observation takes time – time to notice, time to understand, time to engage, time to listen, time to reflect, time to think – so clearly, with this amount of observation, it cannot be rushed!!

When we read about the activities of Jesus and the disciples, often we read but disregard the parts where it talks about them going to an area. We don’t know how much time they spent in each place, learning, engaging, listening and so on. But, it must be clear that time was spent, if for no other reason, than to show understanding.

Not only is it important to spend the time, but it is vital that the right perspective is had when we do observe. What do I mean by right perspective? Simply, it is not having our own perspective, but having God’s perspective on situations and contexts in which we find ourselves.

Seeing things through the lens of our relationship with Jesus is vital, so we gain a truer perspective on what is really going on.

Why is this important? Because often, we as humans can be caught in the trap of seeing the obvious and the superficial, without actually seeing what is truly going on.

The Shack challenges our thinking on this hugely. Mac, the key character, is challenged not to judge what he can see, but to push past the superficial to the truth.

So key questions to ask ourselves:
Do we spend enough time observing?
What would enable us to see things better from God’s perspective?
What are the barriers to seeing things from God’s perspective?
What of us is God asking to give up, so we can observe more like him?

Time to Pray

So recently heard a quote which went along the lines of, why would you give a kid a toy without the battery? Pete Gregg from 24/7 Prayer!!

Of course he was referring to prayer in our lives, the necessity of it, the importance of it, and actually the requirement of it if we are to fulfil all that God has for us.

So to this end, we at RolltheRock are hosting a prayer evening on the 29 March, at 7.30 pm at Kairos network church, and we would love to see as many people there as possible to pray into our work, pray into the vision, pray into the finances, and so we hear God for all that he has for us.

So if you can make it please do come along, we want to ensure all that we are and do is rooted firmly in hearing from god, and we have the batteries in place for us to move forward.