I looked up at the pre-morning sky. Stars winked in the inky black.
I tossed the ball in the air, dodging a shower of pine needles as it flew. Shadows flickered on the driveway as the trees swayed under the electric lights. The air felt damp and cool from last night’s rain. I tried to muster up enthusiasm for the day ahead.
I’ve been in a limbo place for a long time now. Trying to be peaceful / joyful / content / everyone’s cheerleader in this season has proved challenging. My tank runs dry. But when you’re an adult, you don’t get to just lie down. Or, you shouldn’t. You keep getting up and going to work – fully dressed, ideally. Ladies, remember your foundation garments! You pay bills. You clean. You check on kids. For believers, you attend church. You tithe. You worship. You read your Bible and pray. Even spend time crying out to God for some kind of answer, anything.
Then when nothing happens, you keep on.
Nothing is horribly wrong. It’s just that it doesn’t make sense. I know I’m supposed to be based in Shelton, but I spend 45 hours each week going to and from another city. I guess it’s just over 25% of my time, when you think about it. I have applied for jobs here in town, interviewed, and they’ve gone to someone else. I don’t begrudge those others getting jobs. But how do I get back home? I keep clicking my heels, eyes closed. It hasn’t worked. I probably need the real ruby slippers or something. Sigh.
I like Thurston County. I work with great people. Yet…my job is unchallenging. That’s putting it kindly. My boss is wonderful. No complaints there. The commute is fine, most days. In fact, driving in on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I sailed along with little traffic. All of a sudden, Knight Rider appeared on my bumper. I pulled into the right lane as a cop from the other side of the highway roared up behind us. Knight Rider got a ticket, not me. So, not without some chuckles.
And yet…something’s missing. I think its purpose. I’m learning patience (gah!). No, I didn’t pray for more patience. That I remember, anyway. So what’s a gal to do? Well, celebrate was good, for starters. Family. Health. Provision. Jobs that allow us to use our skills. Friends. Good food. The lovely fall season. Goofy pets. I can go on, but you get the idea.
I think I’m also learning faith. Not sure I like that one either. But untested Faith isn’t really faith, is it? It’s just passive belief. Maybe I need to press the faith muscle into service, like how in the natural muscles gain strength through exertion. If I really believe God works all things together for good for those called according to his purpose, I have nothing to worry about (Romans 8:28).
That leaves me with: more faith and patience. Yay! Neither is a favorite “food”, but they are fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Fruit doesn’t just happen; it has to grow, and that takes some time and care, as well as pruning. Lord, let my life be filled with these delicious fruits for others to sample and taste Your goodness. I want a good harvest.