- John Van Sloten
Waiting is not easy
I've done a lot of waiting over the past 20 months. What I thought would be a quick transition into the next phase of my life's calling has instead been more of a slow and grinding halt.
...which has been hard
For most of my adult life and ministry I've made things happen (which was an illusion), and now I can't seem to make anything happen (which feels, for the first time in my life, mysteriously real). And the truth is I don't want to make the next thing happen.
I don't want to over-control my life anymore.
I don't want to move too fast, or try to make too much of an impact.
I don't want to succeed if it means over-riding God's very clear call to wait.
I don't want the comfort of having my life falsely sorted out if it means bailing on obedience.
All I want is to know God more... to know Him in so palpable a way that nothing else matters.
The other night I was lying awake and prayed, "All I want is you... and if I have you, and nothing else ever comes of my career, then I'm good with that." Then an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all that has happened over the past 25 years washed over me. And for a few moments I was content... and okay if no 'big next thing' ever came to fruition.
And so now I wait... on a publisher, a church, a company, a seminary, and for who knows what else.
For the most part I'm good with that. This helplessness feels right for the Advent waiting season. It feels like I'm genuinely wanting what matters most.
"A person can receive only what is given them from heaven"
POSTSCRIPT: As I was writing this post, an agnostic professor who I'd met years ago, when he helped me preach a sermon on the work he does, was writing an email to me. Yesterday we met for coffee and he joyfully told me that, as a result of that sermon, and his reading of The Day Metallica Came to Church, he's now a Christian. In the email he wrote, "You saw God in my work and you named it and that effort profoundly helped me. You gave me a rich gift and it is one that impacts a lot of people, so more than a thank you, what I wanted to say about your work is that it is effective. You have found something very important and taken the time to develop it in such a way that others can observe how you came up with it, how you practice it and how we can implement it in our own lives. Behind all of that is one powerful message: by speaking God you are saving people, and helping them save others."