Archive for March, 2004

The Waiting Game

Posted: March 31, 2004 in Everything

I should have known it was going to be a late night when my 4-month-old daughter fell asleep during her last bottle of the day at 9:30 pm. That never happens. She gulps until the bottle is on the verge of implosion from the sheer pressure of suction. Enfamil formula must be Maxwell House coffee for infants–good to the last drop.

So, our wonderful daughter arose at 3:00 am–a little fussy, but with a smile. She doesn’t wake up to eat anymore in the middle of the night, so I tried everything to get her back to sleep, but finally gave up and gave her her bottle about 20 minutes ago. Usually after an hour and a half I’m a little but frustrated with this stage of early childhood development, but tonight’s a little different. My sleep wasn’t interrupted by the cries from down the hall. I wasn’t asleep anyway.

It started at 2 am when I woke up and realized that I had left a window open. Thoughts of JonBenet Ramsey rushing through my mind, I quickly went and closed it. Most of the time I would quickly go back to sleep, but not tonight (really this morning). My mind is busy tonight.

You see, right now, in our lives we are waiting. Waiting for a decision. Waiting to make decisions based on that decision. Financial decisions, career decisions, big decisions. What we’re waiting for is not a decision we can make, only one we have to live with, but that’s not the problem. The problem is waiting. I don’t know if there’s anything in the world worse than waiting.

Rochelle is waiting to see her father again. I’m waiting to see if the South Beach Diet, a personal trainer and 24-Hour Fitness will make a difference. We have friends who are waiting on children. We have friends who are waiting on love. Right now I’m waiting to see if my daughter is really going to sleep the rest of the night or will I again have to arise from my state of non-sleep where I will be staring at the ceiling…waiting.

But ultimately, being a Christian means a lot of waiting. Our bodies will one day be healed, but we have to wait. Our relationships will one day be restored, we’re waiting on that one too. Soon our hearts will be at peace, but not soon enough–we’ll spend some time waiting on that. The hearts of the children will turn to the hearts of the parents, we will race to the arms of Jesus and we’ll know as we are known–but only after we wait.

I’m not sure if I have any deep spiritual meaning to hang on all this waiting, but I know that I am waiting to be with Jesus. And His sacrifice means that He’s waiting to be with me too.

Maranatha–“Come Oh, Lord.”

The American Dream?

Posted: March 24, 2004 in Everything

In an American Christian culture that values wealth, power, beauty and success as much as it does, I’m always challenged and inspired by people who remind me of what LIFE is really about.

Cherish these words from Philip Yancey:

“In a world ruled by law, grace stands as a sign of contradiction. We want fairness; the gospel gives us an innocent man nailed to a cross who cries out, “Father, forgive them.” We want respectability; the gospel elevates tax collectors, prodigals, and Samaritians. We want success; the gospel reverses the terms, moving the poor and downtrodden to the head of the line and the wealthy and famous to the rear.”

A Line at the Changing Room Door

Posted: March 23, 2004 in Everything

Our church meets in small groups most Sunday nights. My wife, Rochelle, and I belong to one that meets just up the street from our house. Our group started about 3 years ago and its present look is drastically different from what it was 1,095 days ago.

The biggest difference is obvious: there’s a line to use the changing room! No, not the kind of changing room you might find in a department store: that’s where customers change. It’s not even the kind of scum-stained changing room you may remember from high school: that’s a locker room. You might be thinking of the bristling backstage area you might find at a concert or play: that’s a dressing room. No this room is not for customers or athletes or thespians, it’s for children.

In three years our group has grown from 9 people to 17 people. 17 PEOPLE! Our group used to have discussions, now it has diapers. We used to talk about our beliefs, now we talk about bottles. We were a group in search of sanctification, now we are a group in search of sleep.

Our small group has changed dramatically the past few years. We’ve had people join our church family and join our group. We’ve also had other kinds of changes. Financial reversals, job changes, career changes, stay-at-home-moms, family trouble; they’ve all visited our group.

We’ve also been visited by some angels-in-waiting named Nicole, Kristen, Julia, Parker, Naomi, Alyssa, Cole and my favorite, Malia Rose. Each one of them has been a continental shift when it comes to change. The other night as I stood in line waiting for the changing table, I thought about the subtle, yet powerful, image it is–though it may not be the prettiest (or most nicely scented).

I was reminded that we all need to be changed–babies, toddlers, adults, everybody. We all need to be freshened up and made clean. And though a dirty diaper can oftentimes leave me desirous of a life without messes, no life like that exist. You see, sin has really made us dirty, and we need to be cleaned. I’m thankful for a God who doesn’t mind changing me.