I have heard countless sermons about waiting, here are a few things that are tagged as good things to wait for:
- Intervention in tough situations
- Direction for your life
- ‘Opening doors’
- God’s ‘perfect’ timing
- Looking for ‘the one’
- Job decisions
- Looking for a ‘sign’
“Have Patience. Keep on waiting.” Waiting…?
I think this is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions to every rule, but this one? 9 times out of 10 if someone says they are ‘waiting on God’ I cringe a little inside. Why? Because I can clearly see that they aren’t doing anything…I’m over here thinking “Wait… It sounds like you are using God as an excuse for why you aren’t even trying.”
Man, really…When I hear someone say they’re waiting on God I hear: “It’s God’s fault I’m not doing anything! It’s his fault” And personally? I don’t believe in using God as a scapegoat for your problems while simultaneously sounding ultra spiritual. Newsflash! I’m not ‘ultra spiritual’, and that’s okay. I have learned that less happens when I would pray this; ‘God show me your will and then I’ll follow it’ versus praying something like the following. ‘God, if you’ve got a specific thing you want me to do let me know, meanwhile, I’ll just keep on trying to live life in a way that honors you and live with no regrets.’ Is this doubting God’s power? Saying that he’s not going to show you what he wants for your life? No. It’s saying that you’re going to make the most of your life, and not sit around waiting for manna to fall from the sky. It’s saying that you respect yourself, and have faith in the God who made you.
I’d like to take 2 seconds to talk about relationships. When someone says they are waiting on God to bring their perfect match… Their words might as well be nails against a chalkboard because I‘ll be gritting my teeth either way. If at some point you are hoping to find a special someone to share the rest of your life with, and having that someone is super important to you… but you aren’t meeting many people and you aren’t willing to step out of your comfort zone to get to know people, then you may very well pass by that person who would have been so great for you. And that, my friend, ‘aint God’s fault. That’s yours. Yes, I might be stepping on toes here, but man or woman, if you are waiting on God to bring you that special someone but not actually looking for him or her? You might as well be one of those Disney princesses who fall in love with the first prince who comes along. Which by the way, isn’t likely to have a happy ending- And princes are pretty rare. Yes, I love Disney (and probably know 90% of all their songs) but there are some lies in those scripts. Churches-don’t get me wrong I like church (and probably know 90% of all their songs too) but they are sometimes just as bad saying ‘God has that one for you, you just have to be patient’ come on now. Really? Are we all that naive? I’ve read the Bible cover to cover… Show me where it says ‘thou shalt wait for thy soul mate and they shall appear!’? Sure, so he or she is out there, but unless you are very very very very lucky, sitting at home every evening watching Netflix isn’t going to work to find the love of your life. Want to help God help you? Then freakin’ help yourself. Your life isn’t a Disney movie. Leave the house and hang out in places where you think your perfect match would also hang out, and actually talk to some people. Your future self will thank you.
I’ve heard many times that everyone has a calling. A purpose that God put you on this earth for! I don’t believe everyone has an earth shattering big as mother Teresa sort of calling for everyone. (Of course feel free to disagree) If I felt genuinely ‘called’ to missions work then I’d be on the next plane to Africa (or wherever I felt called). If I felt called to be a brain surgeon I’d be applying to a medical school. If I felt called to be an actress I’d be packing my bags to move to Hollywood. I have seen more than a couple people stuck at a spot where they feel like they should feel called to missions, ministry, medical or something big. Goodness gracious! I don’t feel called to one of these things or one particular game changing thing. I just have a long list of things I want to do with my life. If something ultra spiritual happens inside my soul or gut or whatnot, that makes me feel called to change everything…Then that would be different, then I’d change everything. Simple.
However I don’t believe a meaningful life is measured by one specific life event or occupation. I consider a meaningful life to be one where you wanted to to do something so you did. You wish your life was different so you change it. Why would I ‘wait on God’ when clearly there is a big world out there that he created and so many things to learn, people to meet and experiences to be had? While you are ‘waiting’ to know what you are called to why aren’t you filling your time with meaningful experiences that are fulfilling and wholesome even of themselves? You might even surprise yourself and find that by opening up yourself to new possibilities you find your calling. Or… Just find that you can live a really fulfilling, God-honoring life without being fixated on the obsession that there is one magical show stopping purpose for each of us that you have to find.
If you are a person who does feel that call; that magical gut feeling that lets you know what you’re supposed to do with your life, and you can still say “I’m waiting on God to open a door” Or “I’m not sure, I want to be sure…” please. PLEASE…! Are you starting to see a pattern? Because I am. Goodness Gracious. I am flabbergasted at how commonplace this kind of excuse is, and how it is almost admired in the Christian and other religious communities. It does sound noble for a second, and perhaps it is, perhaps your heart is in totally the right place and you are that 1 out of 10 who I understand when you say you are waiting. For the rest of you, using the word ‘God’ in your excuse for why you aren’t pursuing your calling… Doesn’t sound very noble to me. You should be doing everything you can to make your calling happen, no matter how hard it is or how many doors seem to be slamming in your face.
“God helps those who help themselves” might not sound very spiritual or pious, but let’s be real. You can’t simply ask God for help and expect him to do everything. You have to be willing to accept that you might need to make some serious change. You can say everything will happen in God’s perfect timing, but that’s not a good reason to sit around. For instance, if you want a job you can pray for God to help you in your quest – but then-you know, actually start proactively looking for and applying for jobs. duh. Infinite power of not, It’s highly improbable that God’s just gonna make employers go looking for you.
And that, my friends, is why I don’t like the sermons where the preacher says to keep on waiting.