Past, Present, Waiting

When we talk about our hope for future or what choices should we make, as Christians we hope for and pray for God to lead us. We talk a lot about the path before us, and reasonable so. At such times the unknown can provide a lot of hope. But sometimes in the midst of choice making, we feel foolish. Sometimes in hindsight I feel foolish and I’ll wish things were different and that I’d made different choices. But wishes don’t change the past. Knowing better now does not amend the past. 

Sometimes I think, even if we do get the amazing opportunity to move forward from here, are we going to look back and think what a wasted time?

There’s an old preacher/prophet man who (in his day) liked pointing out that God didn’t think it was too lavish to have Moses waiting out in the backside of desert for 40 years, after already being a grown man. Why? It’s not like Moses was born at the wrong time and had to wait for everything else to catch up before he could move forward. 40 years a long time for an interlude in one’s life, as a matter of fact, it’s long enough to build a whole another life. So why 40 years out on the backside of the desert?

To be honestly disappointing, I am not going to directly answer that question myself at this time, but instead I’m going to think about it in my own life. Sometimes I seems like things are moving a long going while, then something happens and throws life into a different direction. I cope, I learn, I move on. I start again. But sometimes it’s not the easy to switch in between life’s chapters. Sometimes I wonder about the dumb things I did or said, good things I didn’t do like I should have, or some parts that honestly seem like a waste of time and no lesson in them at all. I feel foolish sometimes.

Yet I am reminded that in the Bible God says, “the Lord shall be your rear guard” This something that is repeated at least a few times. There’s this idea there like not only will God lead us to where we will be going, but God will also be behind us as a guard. To me this means I don’t have to let things from the past creep up and tell me I am failure, no good, or just plain missing it. God can guard and correct even things that are behind me, but which try to sneak up and attack me as I try to move forward. …or sometimes when I am not exactly moving forward in life and I feel stupid for it, this would also be a good time to remember that not only does God lead us, but he is also our rearguard.

I do feel a little foolish right now. I feel anxious wondering how this time in my life is going to turn out. I wonder if I am almost to the next step or nowhere close. I feel like I could of should of would of done things better or differently if I’d known I’d be stuck here in the middle for so long, waiting for the next opportunity of adventure in life to unlock. At times I feel overwhelmed in the waiting. But there’s comfort in the idea that God doesn’t just lead us somewhere new, but God is also the rearguard that allows the past to be the past  and today to be today.

At the end of the story Moses who spent 40 years in the obsolete wilderness as a shepherd, surely must have learned a lot of things for the next 40 years in wilderness with God’s people. Maybe sometimes things in our past that don’t make sense will having meaning before our story comes to an end.

Hope may beg for things to move forward, but while things are at a standstill, it’s beautiful to be reminded that being still & waiting doesn’t mean something is wrong.

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