Wednesday, January 20, 2016


British accents, a beautiful countryside, powerful music, an independent female character, and a soft but strong man who inevitably sweeps her off her feet.  There seems to be a trend in the films that hold their place in my top ten.  Pride and Prejudice is affectionately known as my crafting movie that always seems to be on when creative juices are flowing.  I watch Sense and Sensibility every time I feel under the weather.  It's mix of heartache and happy endings never fails to give me a boost.  About Time, though not a period movie, has made me ponder how I desire to live my life more than any movie I've ever seen and even the Sound of Music, my always number one, while set in Austria had leads that did not try to hide the Brit behind their voices.  

Better than being swept along in these fictional places is having friends who love escaping there with you.  Last night I was introduced by a friend who shares an affinity for all things England to another countryside that didn't have the royal overtones of say P&P or another little obsession of mine that comes on PBS every Sunday evening.  There was no quick wit and fast speak like so many of Jane Austen's books that have come alive on screen.  Far From the Madding Crowd, based on Thomas Hardy's novel, contained all the consistent characteristics that immediately capture my heart and added in was a character so patient and steadfast that still this morning I can't help but focus on that trait alone.  Much like the gift you open that although doesn't bring immediate cries of joy and excitement is so constantly used that it, unlike the shiny you also received, becomes valued and appreciated treasure.

God uses the world around us to speak to our hearts.  Through His word obviously, through the people He has placed in our lives, and very often for me through works of art.  If the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) and if since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,  so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20) surely it is not an odd leap to see Him and hear Him through the venues inspired by creation itself.  Plus once a ponderer always a ponderer and what better way to get lost in thoughts than through a world that is not your own.  I am more than a little amused that my version of escape is very often God's version of getting me exactly where He wants me.  Stop and think about that one in your own life for a second and I will a guarantee it ends with a "huh? well played sir." and fist bump to the heavens.

While on a path of waiting, whether you know exactly what you are waiting for or are just moving forward until whatever end goal is revealed it can be quite tempting to take matters into your own hands in various ways.  

One of the most tempting things to do, because many of us see waiting as an inefficient use of our time, is to run, not away but forward, because if you ask my three boys it obviously gets you anywhere faster.  However also if you ask my three boys it very often results in tripping over an obstacle you didn't quite see because of the full out sprint you were in therefore leading you to being sprawled out on the grass crying in pain over whatever you just injured.  I might have experience with this one as well.

Another strategy is to try and take your own short cut, to assume that formerly mentioned inefficient use of time could be resolved if instead of waiting you forged another path on your own assuming that will get you to the same destination.  This one can be tricky to learn from because if you are blessed with the ingrained map skills of my husband it seems to achieve the desired goal although I daresay that short cut was brimming with self doubt, confusion, and panic while weaving in and out of streets unknown.  On the other side, if you have the extreme lack of directional skills that I possess, the short cut method inevitably just gets you stuck somewhere you weren't planning to go and the only way out is to backtrack or call for help.  

The last, somewhat confusing misstep in a season of waiting is to do the actual thing, to wait.  I know that sounds contrary, but all too often our "waiting' consists of sitting crisscross applesauce on the road to the next thing twiddling our thumbs assuming that when the opportune time comes we can just stand back up again and go merrily about our way.  I love that Oswald Chambers said "...we are to rest in the Lord, not to rust."  I can't help but think of the tin man frozen on the side of the road.  No, it takes a good bit of oil to get back on our feet after being so closed up.

Every scripture holds a promise, every scripture brings Hope.  When it says Therefore my brother be steadfast and immovable always abounding in work for the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Cor 15:58) then what I'm doing, if for Him, is never a waste of my time no matter how painstakingly, frustratingly slow going it feels.  

You see, when it comes down to it, the problem is not whether or not God is directing my path or that Christ made the way or that the Spirit is next to me on the road.  That is and always will be true.  The problem is whether or not I am faithfully following and patiently waiting as I go for what will come next and what will continue after.  Am I being steadfast?

I love that at the end of the movie, patience won out, steadfastness was rewarded and spoiler alert, it also will for you, and for me, as we follow God's will in our lives.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36)  Christ's work is done and that promise has already been fulfilled, now let Him show you how He will carry it to completion in your life as you wait and walk steadfastly with Him.

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