I don’t recall the crisis – merely that it was one of those life critical crises that daily (hourly?) afflict fifteen year olds. What I do recall is the conversation with my Dad.
“Have you prayed about it?” he asked. Anticipating that very question, I honestly responded “Yes, several times.” “Well,” he said, “I guess you’re going to have to wait on the answer.”
Wait on the answer? That was terrible advice (until I heard myself give it to Elizabeth twenty-five years later). Wait? You kidding?
Waiting is not a spiritual gift that many of us possess. We live such instant gratification lives that even the briefest wait seems a horrible imposition. I regularly grumble at the speed of my laptop, forgetting how much faster it is than the desktop dial up I had twenty years ago, or the fact that thirty years ago I didn’t even have a computer.
Wait. That’s not our best thing. It’s even worse when “wait” is not advice but a command. Prior to his Ascension, Jesus gathers the church once more for last instructions (Acts 1:1-11; Luke 24:44-53). Their “to do” list is short but impressive: go into all the world; witness; make disciples. Before any of that, though, the first job is this: wait!
Before the church can be in mission, before the church can witness, before the church can do any of what Jesus commands it to do, we first must wait on the Holy Spirit. We wait to be empowered. We wait so that we go as God intends. We wait so that we’re not in front of the Spirit but following.
Wait. That’s terrible advice. Maybe, but it’s Jesus’ command. We’ll gather around that word tomorrow in worship as we complete our “Seven Next Words” sermon series. I hope you’ll join us so we can wait together (if you’re away for Memorial Day, don’t forget to join us by the 11:05 live video stream at http://firstcary.com/streaming/).
Grace and peace.