WHILE I’M WAITING!

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Galatians chapter 6, verses 9 and 10; from the New Living Translation (NLT)

How well do you handle “waiting”? Waiting is just another part of living on this third rock from the sun. It happens every day. We find ourselves waiting for someone or something. Me??? Well, it just depends on my mood at the time. That ought to tell us something about our feelings! Traffic lights, doctor’s offices, at the drive-thru lane, while seated at a restaurant, the cable repair technician–and the worst of all–waiting for the next available customer service representative. But that’s just trivial stuff–though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

No, I speaking about the current quandary in the United Methodist Institution and that Paragraph 2553. For those not in our Tribe, it defines how to disaffiliate from what has become nefarious. Annual Conferences have defined a process in order to be set free from what can only be described by me as the twenty first century Titanic. Many of my Wesleyan-hearted sisters and brothers have finished the process and have been granted freedom. Well, except those 3 in the Arkansas Annual Conference. (Read my satirical take on that situation here) And there are still many others, like myself, waiting for the moment we can leave Egypt.

So, what do we do when we are waiting in this season of disaffiliation? Well, we can do what we do when waiting at a traffic light. We can fret and stew. Then stew and fret; as if that will make the light change quicker. Lord knows I’ve done a lot of that–not just at traffic lights but while I’m sitting in this quagmire. But I’ve noticed I’m not the only one fretting and stewing. Now, my fellow Wesleyan Hearted friends who are fretting and stewing, don’t be offended at what I am about to write. I’m directing it at me as much as I am you. What good has been accomplished by all our fretting and stewing–anger and frustrations?

It has achieved as much as fretting and stewing changes a traffic light, or for the nurse to call us back to the examining room. Absolutely nothing positive–but it has done a lot of harm to us and the people around us! But The Spirit has given me something else to do until December 10 when hopefully I will be set free. It happened Saturday morning as I was sitting on my front porch doing my usual morning worship time. I have my favorite playlists, but Saturday morning–for some reason unknown to me but known to The Holy Spirit–I allowed my app to select some music.

It sounded unfamiliar at the time to me–but it also sounded familiar at the time. Crazy, huh? Oh, you want to know the name of the song. It was While I’m Waiting written and sung by John Waller. I looked it up, and found out why it sounded familiar. It was in the soundtrack of the movie Fireproof. It was the chorus of this powerful song that reminded me that God wanted me to do something in the waiting other than fretting and stewing. And it’s what we all need to do. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait

by John Waller; © Capitol CMG Publishing, Songs Of Mojo, LLC

Wesleyan Hearted friends. These are the 4 things God wants of us in this season of waiting–and in EVERY season of life. Serve Him. Worship Him. Don’t faint! And keep on running the race, even while we wait. It will do a lot more for us than fretting and stewing. It has definitely helped my perspective. And who knows–maybe it will do something for another person who is waiting. And here’s the song:

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ARE YOU FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Luke chapter 9, verse 62; from the New Living Translation (NLT)

As you may have surmised from this week’s posts, I had planned to re-post some of my previous musings so that I would have more time to enjoy this brief vacation. When I announced (to myself) this would be my plan, The Father looked at the Son, then The Spirit–and all three of them laughed and laughed and laughed! When will I ever learn? So, what has changed? Glad you asked!

At least in my locale, I’m hearing sad stories about some folks who are beginning to waffle on disaffiliation as the time grows close to make the “official” decision. And I do not know their reason(s) for waffling. I am willing to allow that the Holy Spirit has told them to change their minds. After all, I wasn’t privy to their original nor subsequent conversations with The Spirit. But I can’t help but wonder like Paul did about the church in Galatia: “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for He is the one who called you to freedom.” (Galatians chapter 5, verses 7 and 8; NLT)

My deepest concern right now for those folks is the same one I’ve had since this Disaffiliation Movement started: That church property, ‘their‘ property, is more important than the Kingdom of God. It’s as if God can’t do something with them unless they have their property. Surely God is capable of handling their future even IF they lose their property. And I will admit it–it’s scary starting from scratch. And what about those founders of their church? Don’t you think they may be been scared of starting a new church? But starting something new with God is also exhilerating because we must trust Him, who never abandons HIS Kingdom, completely and without reservations or hesitations. Following Jesus and The Kingdom is never free of risks–but the rewards far outweigh the risks. Reality Check: It’s always been risky following Jesus. And that’s OK!

If you are one of those “second-guessing” the decision to disaffiliate, remember the words of Jesus I opened with today: But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Back to my original question: Are you fit for the Kingdom of God? I didn’t ask if you were worthy! None of us are worthy. But are you fit for the Kingdom of God? If you waffle and look back, Jesus says you aren’t. But if you keep looking forward, disregarding the price of following Jesus, it makes you fit for the Kingdom! And least you think I’m only trying to shame the ones looking back, I end with these other words from Paul to encourage all of us not to look back after we’ve put our hands to the plow:

Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians chapter 6, verses 8 and 9; from the NLT

So, keep plowing straight by looking forward, and don’t give up. Just don’t give up!