The family (minus J who had to work) drove through the bleak and snowy winter yesterday to a winter-wonderland wedding last night. Except that it barely raining, let alone snowing. Inside, where the wedding was held, it was definitely a wonderland, full of ribbon-wrapped trees and twinkling lights. The bride (youngest daughter of our closest friends), looking spectacular in a dress only she could pull off, gazed adoringly into the eyes of her tall, militarily-clad young lieutenant, whom she had barely seen since he went off to Kentucky last July to train.
We've been at the weddings of all three of these beautiful daughters of these friends, and I was struck last night at how carefully God chose the men to be partners with these women. The oldest is married to a scientist, and he's loved and balanced her amazing creativity, her flights of fancy. He's helped organize but also allowed her to be who she is--exactly who she is. She sang an orginal composition last night while her little sister danced with her groom. The second daughter is now married to a gentle-eyed, warm musician, the perfect foil on his saxaphone to her jazz-loving soul. They're silly and affectionate--I can't imagine anyone better for her than this musician husband. And the bride last night, the music educator, has always been organized, matter-of-fact and willing to do what it takes to make her life work. Being married to a man in the military will give her plenty of opportunity to work out of her strengths. Her sisters couldn't (wouldn't) have done it. And K's strong brain will be challenged by the equally strong brain of her husband.
All this reminds me again of how engaged God wants to be in that important aspect of our lives.
And a short conversation with the man who helped our friend officiate at the wedding last night reminded me--convicted me!--of how God wants to be active in EVERY aspect of our lives. This man has completed all his school work and all the denominational hoops needed to become a pastor in the Presbyterian Church. He's only waiting for a 'call' from a church in order to be an ordained pastor. So we talked process for a bit, then he said, "We (meaning his wife and him) aren't in a hurry. When God calls, there's no denying it. There's an urgency to obey when God calls."
And I was caught short. This isn't news to me. It really isn't. In fact, Beve and I have lived this truth SO many times in our lives, we should know it chapter and verse, should have it written on our foreheads, on the doorposts of our home, on the dashboards of our cars. And we definitely, absolutely must teach it to our children. Jobs, homes, MATES!, ministries, have all come as a result of that sense of HIS call, paired with that urgency to obey it. We can't NOT obey when we know something is Him telling us to do it.
But this came as a bit of a revelation to me last night because lately I've been working hard to figure out what God wants me to do. I have been trying so hard to figure it out, and coming up empty, that I've worked myself into something of a funk. Maybe I should go back to school (just one more time, which would make it 4 different colleges, and four degrees!) to get a Masters in Education. And weekly (or daily) I check for jobs online in our area, or any area, that I might be qualified for. Since I'm over educated and under qualified for just about everything out there, this can be an exercise in not just futility but also depression. Then I expand the search to the entire nation for the areas in which I actually AM qualified to do--women's ministry, mission-training, etc. And I try things on for size, try to work out what Beve would do if we moved to Nebraska or Texas or the Oklahoma panhandle. Sigh.
And then I go back to whatever book I'm reading. And sigh again.
I've been assuming this is MY job to fix. My job to find a job. The world tells me so. It's my job to figure it out. And all this work of trying to find work I can actually do has put in a pretty bad place spiritually. A place in which I've rarely dwelt. I don't like it very well, to tell you the truth. I've felt such urgency about all this, that I've completely forgotten the urgency that comes when God is moving. When HE'S calling. And there's a world of difference in those two kinds of urgency.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I shouldn't be doing my part. But I am saying I should stop beating myself up about the inability for fit my square self into a round hole. Keep looking, but also--primarily, constantly, over-archingly--keep praying. Trusting God to do His work, which is, of course, most of the work.
This man I talked to last night also reminded me of this: when God came to earth, 30 years of the Incarnation were spent in preparation for the three years of public ministry. That's a pretty lop-sided ratio. So who knows how long the preparation time God might have for me. Whatever time it takes, it won't be that long. So I wait. I wait. I wait for the urgency I've experienced many, many times, that urgency which I know well.
I think of how last night's bride had to wait for this day, waited and watched for the day when her beloved would come home to marry her. She lived her life every day, but also--in that daily ordinary life--her head was cocked toward Kentucky. Cocked toward the calendar counting off the days until he'd be home, until their wedding day. She waited with an urgency. And that's the urgency I--we each--must bring to our waiting for God's call. Stillness without, but urgent with. And all together, a trust that the Beloved will come, the call will come. He will answer.