Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All I needed to learn about waiting, I learned in Hawaii.

I  know.  I said I would be gone this week.  I'm a liar.  Actually, I've just had the most amazing things to share so here I am.  Again.  Maybe I'll take next week off instead.  Ha!  Anyway, the other day, I posted about our long ago, would-be trip to the Bahamas, that never actually happened.  I'd like to continue that story because it actually has a great ending.  The following year, Adrain worked twice as hard at work, and the market was booming.  At the end of his year, he was awarded a second trip, only this one was for Maui, Hawaii.  Please keep in mind that I'd flown on a plane for 30 minutes in my entire life, (you know... in anticipation of going to the Bahamas that ended in tears and a rental car.) and I'd just finished potty training my youngest child.  So in other words, I was desperate for a get away.  When Adrain said the magic words of, "five days and four nights," I wanted to get excited, but the truth is, I didn't actually believe it until I stepped off the plane and the loveliest smiling faces I'd ever seen, greeted me with fragrant, purple leis.

The second evening of our Hawaiian escape, we were scheduled to attend a luau.  After an afternoon spent walking up and down sandy beaches with my main squeeze, we headed up to our room to freshen up.  My hair was super curly from the tropical environment, so I went with it, leaving it loose.  I slipped into a simple white sundress and sandals, and we headed to the luau.  We breathed in the scent of hibiscus mingling with aromas of roasting pig, as we lined up to enter.  Music played softly in the background, and waiters passed out tropical drinks sporting colorful orchids.  Some small children tried catching a gecko nearby, and we smiled as we thought about our hoodlums, left back on the mainland, with their grandparents.

We were seated at a long table, and as seats around us filled in, people began introducing themselves, and sharing where they were traveling from.  Companionable chatter filled the air, and I learned that the couple seated on my right were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, all the way from the Midwest.  Across the table, was a woman I'm going to refer to as Zsa Zsa.  Sporting diamonds on each finger, and frosted hair, she was swathed in sequins and heavy-looking, fake eyelashes.  She immediately began fidgeting, and twisting in her chair to find our waiter.  No sooner had he departed, than she began fussing about this and that, ever impatient for food, drinks, and miscellaneous other things she was being required to wait for.  After the meal had been served, fanning herself and rolling her eyes, she looked across to my new Midwest friend, and began to complain at length, about how long it was taking for the performance to begin.  Setting her drink beside her plate, the woman to my right looked straight into Zsa Zsa's eyes, and said, in a deadpan tone that I'll never forget, "Do you have someplace that you need to be?"  It was one of those times, where the entire table went silent at just that moment, and though said in a quiet, and respectful voice, a very clear message was sent.

I lifted my napkin to cover a smile, and noticed many dining companions doing likewise.  It was a moment that struck a chord in my heart, and I've often recounted, when I'm given to impatient waiting on something or someone.  Here we were, in the most beautiful place on earth, being required to relax, be patient, and enjoy the slow process of waiting for the evening to unfold all around us.  (Sometimes it's hard to wait patiently when you want something.) 

The other night, Adrain read something to me from John Ortberg's book, If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat, and it enfolds perfectly into what I've just shared with you. "Henri Nouwen gave us a picture of patient trust not long before he died in 1996.  Writing about some trapeze artists who became good friends of his, he explained that there is a very special relationship between the flyer and the catcher...As the flyer is swinging high above the crowd, the moment comes when he lets go of the trapeze, when he arcs out into the air.  For that moment, which must feel like an eternity, the flyer is suspended in nothingness.  It is too late to reach back for the trapeze.  There is no going back now.  However, it is too soon to be grasped by the one who will catch him.  He cannot accelerate the catch.  In that moment, his job is to be as still and motionless as he can.  'The flyer must never try and catch the catcher,' the trapeze artist told Nouwen.  'He must wait in absolute trust.  The catcher will catch him.  But he must wait.  His job is not to flail about in anxiety.  In fact, if he does, it could kill him.  His job is to be still.  To wait.  And to wait is the hardest work of all.'  You may be in that very vulnerable moment right now- you have let go of what God has called you to let go of, but you can't feel God's other hand catching you yet.  Will you wait in absolute trust?  Will you be patient?  Waiting requires patient trust."  
Corbis Images
 I  know a lot of you are waiting for something.  And really... do we have some place we've got to be?  It's not like we're in control of any of it! God's other hand is still there, and He will catch us in His time. 

15 comments:

  1. oh sweet sasha, you do not know how this spoke to me today! i am trying to wait and not manipulate what God is doing. my problem right now is fear...that God will either not do what I want OR leave me hangin' there waiting forever! really, this was good for me...He won't leave me hanging forever, cause He promised He'll never leave us or forsake us, which in this case would leave us smooshed on the ground :) thanks!

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  2. Oh, I love this! Thank you so much for this post today. :-)

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  3. Oh how I needed to hear this today! I mean really, why didn't I think of that? "Do you have anywhere you need to be?" "Don't try to catch the catcher." Maybe all of this waiting you are doing... maybe this is the point. Just watch today, how many people needed to hear this. That you are willing to say it? You are being used, in a most beautiful way. ❈ There is purpose here. ❈

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  4. LOVE THIS!

    Your writing has a way of speaking to me. Thank you.

    Now, when I am impatient, I, too, will think of Hawaii.

    And God.

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  5. Just what I needed to hear today. I am waiting for God to answer me (but really wanting it to be my answer). And you know what, there's no where I need to be.

    Blessings

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  6. I love this story mama. I hung onto every word. Love ya!

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  7. I have never commented on any of your posts but read your blog everyday...This post was one that I can relate to. My husband and I waited for a child for 17 years of marriage and never understanding why it was not happening and did God not see how much we wanted a baby. God's timing is so BEAUTIFUL...in 2008 His plan and HIS timing brought us a Beautiful baby girl thorough the miracle of adoption. Waiting and be patient God BRINGS GREAT things. Thanks for your faithful blogging...

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  8. Oh my goodness. How do you know precisely where I am and where I'm struggling and the words to say. I'm in a waiting place right now and the story of the trapeze artist and the catcher - so perfect. I need to copy this and put it somewhere where I can see it everyday. Sometimes the temptation to flail about wildly and try to catch yourself is just too much to resist.

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  9. I love how you are always my bit of wisdom every time I read your posts...thanks

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  10. this hits home tonight and it's really encouraging and confirming. Just last week I was wondering if I'm going about this (life) all wrong, and if a season of rest was just an excuse for not trying and if I should somehow just get up and build my life. You are the second no, wait on God (which was my original instructions) this week. Thanks, friend.

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  11. Awesome post, thanks for sharing your heart. Reading Henri Nouwen now and he has so much wisdom. It sure is hard to get out of the boat and walk on water because I focus on the water and not on Jesus most of the time. Thanks for the reminder of Who to focus on.

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  12. Are you taling to me? Because i really feel like this was for me :)

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  13. oh good golly i loved this. girl you speak right from the heart...right to MY heart. thank you!

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