There are several Classical pieces that we listen to often enough that Micah (who is a few months shy of 3 years old) knows that there is a sudden instrumental boom to them. Two of these pieces are Vivaldi's Four Season's Winter, and Hayden's Surprise Symphony. Whenever these pieces come on, he immediately starts asking, "Mommy, is it coming? Is it coming?" I always say the same thing, "Almost sweetie. Almost, but not yet."
I can sometimes just feel the nervous tension in Micah as he is waiting. Sitting all strapped in his car seat. He is excited and yet nervous. Even as a 2 year old, wanting to have some measure of control. Sometimes he even ask if we can skip this song, because the not knowing when it is coming wears on him. Still not totally sure that it will come this time, or perhaps that it will be different when it does. What if, just what if it doesn't come at all? Sometimes he thinks it is one of those songs with a sudden boom, and it really isn't, so we spend the entire song with him asking every few minutes, "Is it coming yet, Mommy?" (at which point I often just skip it because I am tired of answering).
Doesn't that sound exhausting? (the waiting, not the asking - though that does get exhausting too!)
Waiting turning into worrying...is it ever going to happen? Can I make it happen? What if it doesn't happen?
It struck me this week as we went through this drill for what probably is the hundredth time, that I often live my life in that same spot. Always waiting. Is it coming yet? Never being satisfied to relax and find joy in the measure of life I am in, because I am worrying about what the next one is going to be. Always looking to the next big musical boom in life, thinking this will be the thing that makes this piece worth listening to. The sudden explosion of violins that makes Life worth living.
When I was younger, I loved the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go. He calls it the Waiting Place:
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.If you back up a bit in the Dr. Seuss book, he talk about how you get to this Waiting Place.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting PlaceI spend so much energy in this place. Worrying. Trying to Control, Manipulate.
Jesus addresses this place of worry in all of the Gospels:
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Like 12:25-26)
Why do we? I don't know what it is for you, but I think for me, it is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that I won't be able to handle whatever it is that comes up next. That is will be too much for me. I react to life from a place of fear, which leads to worry, which leads to never being happy with where I am in life, because I am always waiting for the next thing. That is not from the Lord.
Psalms 27:1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.The LORD, Praise God, has given me a spirit of POWER, not of fear. He has given me the power to not just react to life, but to LIVE it. He has given me the power to rest, knowing that while whatever is coming may FEEL like too much, it never will be - because He is in control of it.
What is really comes down to, almost always, is what I will choose to believe. Will I choose to believe the lie that I have to worry, obsess, toil, not trust? Or do i choose TRUTH - that the Lord is my light and my salvation, what should I ever fear?
Joshua 24:25 "then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”