Once a friend told me of how he and his family moved south. When work didn’t fall into his lap, he spent months preparing to be a realtor. He studied the books, took the tests. But just as he finally reached the point of almost becoming a realtor, something else came along. Something better.
What struck me about this story was his take on it.
“I kind of wonder,” he said slowly, “if God didn’t mean for those three months to be a time of rest for me. If I wouldn’t have tried to take control of where I was going, I could have simply enjoyed those months.”
But instead he spent that time hurrying, striving, moving, and in the end all was for naught. He took three months that could have been a slow grace, and turned them into frantic activity that went no where.
I have done that. I do that.
* * * * *
I sit up with the older two kids in their room as they fall asleep, not because they need me to be here with them, but mostly just because it’s where I want to be right now. There’s a fan roaring white noise. Outside the room, the hall light outlines the almost closed door in a rectangle of yellow.
These are warm, heavy days. August days. In a few weeks the farmers will start to bring down the corn. The hay will be cut one last time and the barns will be full. The nights and mornings will grow cooler. I’ll start to smell woodsmoke in the evening. Stray leaves will blow across the street.
I spend 75% of the year waiting for autumn. It’s been thirteen years since I was last in school, but September still feels more like a new beginning than January. A fresh start. Summer has always felt like the culmination of things, the season when things reach their peak. And then comes Fall, with a return to cooler temperatures, a return to normal life, a return to the things that make me happy.
Waiting for fall.
* * * * *
“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” Oswald Chambers
* * * * *
I have been waiting for quite some time. Or so it feels. In reality, we have only been back from our cross country adventure for two months, the blink of an eye. I have an upcoming trip to Sri Lanka, then the Frederick Fair that we go to every year, and then October. The heart of autumn. By then we will know which way to go, which ways have opened up, which ways perhaps have closed.
And I fight in me an urge to skip to the end. To lay waste to this middle that feels endless, this waiting. But I do not want to miss the small blessings! So tonight I sit in this room, and I peer through the darkness, trying to pay closer attention to my now sleeping children. When I finish typing this I will lay down on the scratchy carpet, in front of the fan, like I used to do as a child. Perhaps I’ll fall asleep there.
Because waiting can be okay, if I let it happen. And this darkness is so temporary. So fleeting. I want to stop pushing so many days aside.