Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parking Lots and Patience

It’s been said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But I say if the Roman mayor and city council had hired our parking lot repair company, then Rome would still be under construction. To say the progress on the church parking lot has been a little slow is like saying counting each grain of sand in the Sierra Desert might take a little time. If our parking lot repair guys were in the race with the turtle and the hare—they would have finished not only behind the turtle and the hare, but also behind the snail, the sloth, and the gimpy legged opossum. The job that was supposed to take one week to complete (and was supposed to have begun on August 3) is now set to be completed on August 26. If you were a betting person (a betting person in a non-gambling sanctified way, of course) then I would strongly urge you to not bet on the August 26 completion date.

I’ve been told that there are numerous reasons for the delays. Wrong sized saw blades and bad weather and a few reasons only the company knows. There is no truth to the rumor that the construction team took a day off to celebrate St. Mac Day (the patron saint of cement workers). Maybe the company only hires preachers—for the last twenty years I have heard from smart aleck parishioners that preachers only work one day a week. Of course, even if that were true (which believe me is NOT true), it would still be an improvement over the “work” being done in our parking lot. Bottom line: Our parking lot still is under construction and the East entryway is still blocked off and people are still forced to turn around in the parking lot when they are “passing through” because they discover that they can’t “pass through” after all. A fact that someone has said has caused more profanity coming from the U-turning cars in our parking lot than in the Chief’s parking lot following a loss to the Oakland Raiders. I wouldn’t know about that…

Here’s what I do know: Things don’t always happen in our desired time frames. Whether we are talking parking lots or lots of others things—our timing and the actual timing of events are not always the same.

We want the oncology reports yesterday. We want to hear about the job interview at this instant. We want the repair man to return our calls as soon as we have left the message. We want patience… NOW.

You and I both know it doesn’t always work that way. The Bible tells us that “Love is patient and love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4). So there are times when our loving patience will be put to the test. Sometimes we simply must wait. That’s true when dealing with construction workers, doctors, potential employers, and it’s even true in our waiting on the Lord.

God’s timing is always perfect. He is never early; never late; He is always right on time. So we wait. Often we don’t know why we are waiting, but we wait anyway. We might wish we were not waiting. Still we wait. And in those moments, the faithful are convinced that Isaiah 40 is true when it says: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV). In other words, when the period of waiting is over—whether the outcome is as we would have liked or not— through God’s power we will be stronger, better, and closer to Him than ever.

Are you waiting for something in your life a lot more serious than a messy parking lot? Keep trusting in God. He knows what you need, when you need it. You can always trust in His timing. And together you and God will always win! You might not get to park your car in the west parking lot, but you will win.