“… waiting for clarity of call, waiting until God shows us the next right step, waiting for the Spirit to go ahead of us to light the way. When it’s not clear to us what is invited, we wait, watch and pray. And we trust that sometimes the Spirit is working just fine without us, as much as we’d like to help. There’s an art to the waiting, I’ve learned. Wait expectantly without expectations. Watch for what wants to unfold now, not for what I want to unfold. Pray that I may see what is being invited without imposing what I think would be the best solution. Waiting is not passive and disinterested. Waiting is not turning away. Waiting is an active, prayerful stance, a time of alert openness, a space of listening from mind-in-heart.
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
Sometimes the waiting can be especially difficult. Some are longing for clarity for a personal next step. Some are waiting for justice to be served. Others wait for an end to violence in their land or for a future where their families are not hungry or homeless or despised. …Sometimes our desire to help end the pain is so great that we cannot conceive of anything except action. Yet we know that to everything there is a season. It requires deep wisdom and infinite courage to wait until the right action that is ours to do is given to us. It is a struggle to allow ourselves to listen with our whole heart for God’s time rather than respond to our own impulse. Sometimes I wish that I could get on with planting the garden — literally and metaphorically — without the quiet winter when the earthworms and microbes ready the soil. And still I know that I cannot make things grow; I can only do my small part and wait while earth and sky do the rest.”
It’s so hard to know when to take action, when to sit still. Sometimes to sit still is the action we need to take – the decision to not jump up and “go for it”. I read a line yesterday, and I don’t know who wrote it: “bring me to a pathless place”. It’s easier to wait when there are no paths right in front of me, telling me I should go this way or the other, seemingly clear and ordered and right. And yet, whenever I try to set foot on one of them, it’s not right, it’s not clear. These are the paths of others. What is mine?
Give me a pathless place, God. I want to walk the way you give to me, in your time, not the way others think you give right now…
Whenever my days get too full, it becomes more and more difficult for me to hear God and myself, and I get lost in what others think and expect and want from me. I need silence, quiet, I need to sit in the middle of a pathless place for a while to know who I am again. God is that pathless place to me, arrival and rest, and setting out and beginning in one. Centred either way.