Being in discernment, interviewing, and searching for my next call can really suck sometimes. Yeah, that’s my professional opinion. But it can. It’s an emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually draining process, especially when you get to be one of the final candidates. That’s what happened this past week.
I am having flashbacks to 2001 when I was laid off from my corporate training position and interviewed for a new job for almost a year. I can’t count the number of times I was one of the two final candidates and ended up being choice #2. Ultimately, I saw the doors were closing because God was leading me towards seminary and once I accepted a call to seminary, I worked two part time jobs in ministry.
I am waiting….at that point again. This past week I ventured out to make a push as the final choice in the interview process. I could not give it any more than I did. I gave it my all and now I have to wait. It’s one of those times when you wish waiting was not a part of the plan. Then I remember that “wait” is a four-letter word and it’s a part of life. That is what I have to do. It was emotionally and mentally draining, in ways I hadn’t realized until the process was complete. All I could think about for the rest of the evening was think about what I said, what I did and how they responded. That made me even more tired.
I am waiting…..and I am tired. I gave myself a mental break from the world on Wednesday. I went to see the movie “Lincoln”, which I highly recommend. It was great to see the points in Richmond and Virginia where they shot the movie, and the movie itself – unbelievable, unless of course you are Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, and then it’s your average extraordinary film. Breathtaking.
Afterwards, I took a stroll over to Starbucks where I had a cup of coffee and did some coloring. Yes, I colored my Bert and Ernie activity book with my coloring pencils. I wasn’t ashamed at all. It’s just like when I played with play-doh in my Christian education classes. It kept me focused; however in this case, it kept my mind off things…and in many ways calmed me down. I was using time for coffee and coloring, while I waited for the contemplative service at First Baptist, Richmond.
I am so glad I waited, in more ways than one. Thanks to the gifted folks of First Baptist, this contemplative service was just the thing I needed. They do this service at the beginning of the Advent season, to introduce the reminder of “wait” into our lives in the midst of some busy weeks ahead.
I am waiting….as we begin the Advent season. That’s making a difference for me. I was in the balcony of First Baptist, Richmond last night and sat in amazement of the entire church coming together to decorate for the Advent and Christmas season. Young and old, black and white, and rich and poor, were coming together to make this place beautiful, as one church. I smiled as the children jingled their bells and I cried when the deaf ministry stood and shared their beautiful music, through signing. The congregation applauded and surrounded them with the shaking of our hands. They were the most beautiful sounds I never heard.
What in the world am I worried for? Why do I keep asking the “what if,” questions? God’s given me some wonderful reminders that life is about waiting and during this Advent season, the most precious child brought into this world, is coming. We anticipate this gift with stillness and waiting; filled with hope, peace, joy and love. That’s what I need this season to be about for me because it’s not about me. I look around and see this church being church. I feel my friends surrounding me. I sit with a roof over my head and food on the table through the generosity and grace of friends. I get notes and hugs from friends who love me and cheer for me. What in the world am I worried for?
I am waiting….and no matter what happens on the other side of this story, I have hope. This precious Child loves me and cares for me, even when I don’t. I have a wonderful God who loves me enough to take control of my life when I shouldn’t. “Wait” is a four-letter word, but so is “love” and that’s a gift worth receiving.
May I accept it with joy, peace and love.