I admit it. I need a new pair of sandals. No, really; and DSW is not open yet. I’ll bet I’m not alone either. Come clean. There is something you would be going to buy or do if not for this pandemic. I HEAR you! So, while I’m pining for new shoes, I’m feeling contrite, too. After all there is a lot more going on in our world of way more importance than whether I have my toes out for warmer weather. So, why am I sharing my contrite heart and petty wants with you?
Well, I started my new bible study on the book of Revelations. One of the themes that has arisen in my study has been the nature of waiting. In fact, one biblical commentator notes that the discipline of waiting is a major theme for the seven churches to whom this letter from John of Patmos is addressed. Reflecting on waiting as a discipline is good for me to hold on to, it seems, because I feel like I have been waiting a lot lately.
The ongoing violence against black bodies whether by word or action, the most recent being (George Floyd) remains a prominent fact in our country and I, for one, am tired of it. I have asked, like I am sure my forebearers did long ago, “how long, O Lord?” But it is in turning to this concept of waiting as discipline that I am heartened. From the Latin, disciplina, discipline is to instruct or teach and is related to the disciple who is a student or pupil of the subject being taught.
As a disciple of Christ, (a student of His teachings) I am learning how my spiritual forebearers endured as well. Apparently, I am engaging this pastoral letter alongside those early Christians who, under persecution and oppression, wondered when Christ would return as he promised. My conception of His return is not like theirs I am sure, but I want the same things that they did— deliverance, justice, peace, LIFE. John’s letter was written to give them HOPE. I seem to be in very good company as I employ this discipline of waiting.
I still want those new shoes. But I can wait for DSW to open and can actually do without those sandals. It is the other things—justice, peace, LIFE—that is much more difficult to wait for even though I KNOW they will come. The evil that engages us will NOT rule forever. That is the promise of GOD; that is the Good News. I am placing an arsenal of tools in my “waiting kit.” I hope you are, too. All that meets the eye is not all there IS.
Faithfully waiting on God,