Maybe it's the rainy weather. Maybe it's because I'm getting over one of those colds that last for-ev-ver. Maybe it's because I passed the quarter-century mark recently--there's a little creature in my mind staring at me, holding a sign that says, "If you want to do anything with your life, better get started," while his twin holds one that says, "Are you sure this is the road you want to take?"
Mostly this anxiety comes because some of the greatest writing opportunities I've had so far are before me, the outcome of which is completely up to my handling of them. Some of them are time-sensitive (no pressure or anything). Seems I'm waiting on no one but myself. Which is a strange type of waiting.
I'm one of those people who have a hard time finding the notch between neutral and full throttle. Anybody else out there like that? Overachiever. Type-A. Worrier. Workaholic.
Ever feel like a gerbil on a wheel?
True: the wheel is good for exercise and possibly fun for the gerbil. (Who knows?)
Truer: running faster will not get the gerbil anywhere.
Truest: the gerbil's master will decide when and how and if the gerbil will go anywhere.
Am I sensing a moral here?
Let me see if I can put it another way... Lets use Noah.
Sometimes I wonder if Noah also suffered from being an overachieving, type-A, worry plagued workaholic. He must've learned some serious time management skills, taking on such a long-term project. Then to have all those animals to care for with his family's lives at risk, and the utter ponderosity of knowing you are among the last eight humans living on earth. What would become of them? What if Noah messed up? Like really messed up? Would his family survive?
Inside the ark, while the rain roared, Noah could worry about these terrifying possibilities all he wanted, in between checking on the lions every five minutes to be sure they hadn't gobbled up the wildebeests. But none of these things would help him get off the ark faster. Nothing he did, didn't do, or couldn't do, would take God by surprise.
Now, if Noah was outside the ark, hanging on a peg, THEN maybe he should start to worry. But he wasn't. He was safe inside. Why? Because earlier in the story, he had placed his life and his future in God's capable hands.
The late Dr. Adrian Rogers said:
"I’ve heard people say, 'Pray for us that we’ll hold out faithful to the end.' I think I know what they mean, but I always smile. I picture Noah’s ark, and I can see Noah and his wife and family. Rather than being on the inside, they’re holding on to some slimy pegs on the outside of the ark. And Noah says to Mrs. Noah, 'Honey, pray for me that I’ll hold out faithful to the end.' But God said to Noah, 'Come into the ark,' and the same God that shut the water out, shut Noah in. Now Noah may have fallen down inside that ark, but he never fell out of it. It’s not that we hold on to Him, but that He holds on to us."
What a beautiful picture the ark makes when we think of it this way. In truth, the ark is meant to be a symbol of Christ. If we're in Christ--if we have turned from our sin, forsaken who we were without Him, and turned to Him, embracing His Word--we shouldn't fear the future of our souls, nor the future of our family or friendships or career or church or whatever worries us.
When we think about it, the outcome isn't depending completely on us. It's up to God. Even if we mess up or have messed up, He's there to put us back on the right path.
This post isn't about shirking responsibility. It's about resting in the knowledge that no matter what you're waiting on, where you're waiting, how long you're asked to wait, or if you are good enough to bring about the desired outcome, God is going to take care of your future. There's such a blessed tranquility available in Him.
Oh, one of those writing opportunities I mentioned earlier? the time-sensitive one I was so worried about completing on time? I got an email yesterday that said, on that particular project, I can take as long as I need. I call that a "GTN." A total God-to-Natalie moment.
In the end, I'm not waiting on myself, another person, or any particular event or happening. In the big picture I'm waiting on God. Sometimes we don’t know why we’re waiting, which is why it’s vital to know Who we’re waiting on.
Who are you waiting on?