When the Time is Right

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Being the father of two darling little girls, I’m often reminded of their timeless lives, that is, the lives they live without concept of time. Recognizing little more than whether the sun is “awake or asleep”, they’re content to take each day as it comes. This principle is magnified when an exciting event is on the horizon – a trip to the fair or a birthday party. Each morning ushers the predictable question, “Is today my birthday?” “Are we going to the fair today?”

“Not yet, chica. Just forty-two more days.”

In their timeless wishfulness, I simply offer them more ambiguity. I might as well tell them their birthday is forty-two years away. What matters to them in the moment is that it is simply not today. But what I’ve come to admire in and learn from my daughters is their persistent hope and contentment. Without doubt, they know their birthday is indeed coming and are content to know that Daddy will let them know when it is.

If I may encourage those of you who are single; those of you who are questioning your worth based on your availability; those of you seemingly toeing the line of a life-sentence of loneliness. I have just recently discovered this principle:
God is never in a hurry.

This, in fact, is the most frustrating, yet satisfying aspect of God that I’ve come to know in recent times. We’re all fairly well versed in the passage, “My ways are not your ways and My thoughts are not your thoughts.” And without adding to the Scriptures, but finding the theme throughout them, I also propose, His timing is not our timing.

“Easy for you to say – you were married at 19 years old.”

In the realm of marriage, yes, it is easier for me to say, however, I’ve experienced how excruciating this aspect of God can be in countless other areas of my life. So much so, that I often readily surrender to His ways and His thoughts, though not to His timing.

“God, I’ll do it Your way…  right now.”

I’ve even been so bold as to put an expiration date on my trust.

“Father, if I haven’t heard from You by tomorrow, I’ll assume…”

The “danger” of a God who is never in a hurry is that He can easily be misunderstood as not caring. In everyday life we so often interpret another’s eagerness and anticipation as validation of their interest in our lives. This leaves lack of eagerness and anticipation to convey a lack of interest in our lives.

“Hey, wanna grab coffee sometime?!”
“Would next year work for you?”

But I’d like to challenge the very concept I proposed and one you may be subscribing to. Just because God isn’t in a hurry doesn’t mean He’s not eager or anticipating great things in your life.

For example, just because I’m not in a hurry for my five-year-old to get her driver’s license doesn’t mean I’m not eager or anticipating her healthy independence. It simply reveals how important the timing is.

The Scriptures are clear, God is immensely interested in the minutia of our lives. He’s been relentlessly pursuing our hearts since conception. And His timing is perfect.

If you’re single, take heart. God is eager. God is anticipating. God is interested.

Recognizing little more than whether the sun is “awake or asleep”, my daughters are content to take each day as it comes. And their persistent hope and contentment are the results of trust: trust in Daddy to let them know when the time is right.

Ripe for Romance

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“Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.” Bambi’s owl friend wasn’t referring to a popular type of social networking, but rather the art of romance. While women are nearly always susceptible, a man seems to gather courage in the budding season, and with renewed determination, pursues his princess with everything he can muster. In college we even teased of a guaranteed success during this time of year, “Ring by spring or your money back.” What is it about this sprouting season that lends to year-long affections being put into action? Sure, Valentine’s is a great kick-off, but even that can be drowned in the rest of February. Perhaps it is the world around us, as if all of nature were in chorus, brimming with possibilities and flourishing with opportunities. Regardless of reasons, we are yet again in the thick of it. And for those with propositions in mind, the time has never felt more right.

Engagements are an incredibly unique part of a relationship; an all-important tarmac from which a marriage takes flight. The speed, the angle, and the even the trajectory of the relationship depends on the condition of the runway. Unfortunately, the tarmac is often overlooked. What’s often found disconcerting is dismissed as unimportant or is hoped to vanish once the couple is up, up and away. The runway’s obvious cracks are ignored. Its signals and directions are disregarded. And its length is frequently cut short. All of this can create an unstable launch with devastating consequences, some seen immediately, others while later in flight. So what is a couple to do in preparation or even reparation? Start from the ground, up.

My two, young daughters love playing with Mega Bloks. Never interested in just a block or two, they empty the bag completely, every time. Some blocks are sprawled under the couch, others are haphazardly kicked into the hallway for me to step on later, but the majority are kept within reach, ready for construction. The goal is nearly always the same, a tower. A big tower. They build it as tall as they can, one block upon another. Yet perhaps not too surprisingly, the tower always topples. Immediately they attempt to build the same tower the same way which ushers the same demise. But this is where Daddy shines as I’m able to aid in three ways primarily. First is my experience. As a kid once myself, I’ve built many block towers and have failed just as many times. Second is my objective observation. I can see the building process from a new, different perspective than those in the process and can easily identify a potential weakness. And third is my accomplishment. Through continual effort, I’ve built my own tower successfully.

During your engagement, invite others into your relationship. Seek those who know how to build a base, how to identify cracks or inconsistencies in your relationship, and how to successfully launch a marriage. And don’t settle for building as high as you can reach, but rather how high God can reach. It truly is a wonderful time of year, a sentimental season, and one ripe for romance.