Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To: Those Who Wait

Currently Listening: "The Sky is Breaking" - Moby

Like countless others on this planet, I watched the meteor shower. I didn't really plan on it. Yet, as I finished my laundry and the start time climbed near, a line from Psalm 8 popped into my head
"When I consider Your heavens..." I'm near a major city, but far enough away that at least the major stars in the sky are still visible. On top of this, I was able to don brand-spanking new glasses. I don't wear them all the time, so this evening marks the first time in 4 years that I've seen the night sky with 20/20 vision...

I laid a warm blanket on the ground, put my walkman (that's right, not my iPod, a freaking Sony Walkman) and my glasses on and began to gaze into the night sky. Then came the wait. A couple times I would catch a glimpse of meteors softly dash against the darkness a few at a time. Mostly, there would be long, tedious pauses between each. However, during these waits the night air would surround me and I'd be catching myself thinking of turning into the warm comforts of my soft bed. And just as I would be near convinced to pack it in, a meteor would appear, light up the night sky and disappear into the cosmos. My excitement would be renewed and I'd forget the chill in the air as I waited for the next glimpse.

After repeating this cycle a few times, my focus began to slowly change. I began to stare at the stars themselves. Perhaps it was the fact that I hadn't seen the night sky so clearly in so long. Perhaps it was simply that it had been so very long since I had even stopped to look at all (I don't remember doing so since I was at Pottersfield Ranch in Montana back in 2005). Perhaps it was that I had been reading up on astrophysics and the wonders of the cosmos since that last time I looked at the stars, or even the mixture of the perfect, thought-provoking song at the perfect, thought-provoking time, but the stars never seemed so sharp and clear an set into such a deep and expansive universe before. The cosmos never seemed so amazingly massive before... I had never seemed so amazingly small...

And it was then that the old saying echoed into my mind: "Good things come to those who wait." But strangely, I somehow was there for something much different than waiting for the next meteor, because I wasn't really there for the random yet striking moment of a bright streak shooting across my view. I was there simply to look at the stars.

And that's just how we develop such a relationship with God. We come for a reason. We come for interests and needs that are like shooting stars in eternity. They appear, light up our skies for unspeakable short moments and then disappear into forever. Sometimes, we wait for long periods of time, struggling against the cold of the weariness and cares of the world, wondering if there is any reason to continue denying ourselves the comforts of a short term of rest. As we cling onto the hope that the momentary bright shot will come hurtling across the black night, our focus shifts. Rarely do we even notice it. Yet, we find ourselves gazing. Not searching the skies for the falling stars, but peering into the vast cosmos of the celestial constants that had been holding a silent vigil all along.

We come to God seeking our momentary needs, and He asks of us: patience. Not because He needs time to respond. He is the creator and ruler over time. He requires us to wait on Him, because He knows that while we wait on Him, we watch. We set our eyes on the vast stretch of eternity, hoping to catch a glimpse of His promises fulfilled. And as our eyes adjust, we see... Him. Our constant, holding an unceasing vigil, piercing the darkness and hosting the very heavens of their majesty. We come in expectancy, in hope for what might be for a mere moment and remain in a passionate reverence of what always has been. What always will be.

It's not that good things come to those who wait. Those who wait, find out that what is good is already there.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
- Psalm 8: 3 & 4

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