Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
My spiritually-intrigued friends, (aka SIF :-)
The prophet Isaiah wrote these words in a chapter 26, a chapter in which God shows up and, ‘sets the world right.’ The unjust are given the justice due them, the humble are lifted up, the arrogant are brought down, the shamed are celebrated, the shamers are themselves shamed and God becomes the God of all nations, not just the God of Israel.
The verb ‘wait’ (which is about as unverb-like as a verb can be) caught my attention. Waiting is what the humble, the shamed, the victimized and the excluded were forced to do while the unjust, the arrogant, the shamers and the self righteous ran wild....for the previous 25 chapters! That’s a lot of waiting.
Finally, chapter 26 arrives and they are vindicated...their waiting rewarded.
It made me ask myself: Is ‘waiting’ is what faith often looks and feels like, at least most of the time?
Consider this: When I return evil for evil, arrogance for arrogance, shame for shame, injustice for injustice, could it be that what I’m actually doing, is being impatient? Maybe retribution is undertaken when I decide that it’s my job, not God’s, to ‘set the world right’ immediately, rather electing to wait for God to do the job himself, in due time.
The problem with impatience is that we fixers of the world end up making things worse, increasing the incidence of these vices, rather than reducing them. It reminds me of a friend’s business card (he’s a plumber) which reads: ‘We repair what your husband ‘fixed.’ :-)
As I look back on my life of 61 years, many of the regretful things I’ve said and done have happened because I was in a hurry. I was provoked by some act of shame or injustice or exclusion and simply had to act.....by returning (and, therefore replicating) that which I'd received.
Like a drug, I craved it and it felt good at the time. Later, however, my fix left me feeling ashamed and diminished.
It’s interesting to note that the Old Testament admonition to ‘Trust in the Lord’ is rivaled in frequency by, ‘Wait upon the Lord.’
Perhaps that is because the two are, at least in many instances, synonymous.
All the best,
The Daniel Foundation
Note: Our Next Men2Serve is Sunday morning August 11th. It's also one of our two annual gatherings that are open to any and all interested family members, men or women, etc. (i.e. All2Serve) We begin at 9:30 am the Bookworm building here in Phoenixville for refreshments and a brief reflection followed by a couple of hours of community service at Ann's Heart here in Phoenixville. We make it our goal to conclude by 12 noon, though those who need to leave before 12 noon are welcome to do so.
Interested? Planning to attend? Questions? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!