I have a habit of impatience. Of needing to know now. I almost always sneak a peak at the end of a book: I want a glimpse of where the story is headed and who makes it to the end; sometimes I need to know if I should keep reading. I realize this may be a major character flaw. It is not limited to my relationship with stories. It runs deep.
I want to know what is in store for me and for my family. I want to know what it is I will be doing next year, in 5 years, in 10. I want to know the part I am supposed to play. I want to know how I get from here to there. I want to know how I find the answers to the Questions. And it would have been helpful to have all of this information yesterday.
I also want to be wise, compassionate, and loving. I want to be holy and patient and completely transformed. I want to be a woman of deep faith–who is both fearless and gentle. I want to be a woman who listens well–to others, to God, to her heart. And I want my life to “be the change I want to see in the world.” And I want this all right now.
It is hard to be patient with the process that is faith and becoming.
I was thinking some more about Peter’s story in the Bible: the story of him in the boat, jumping out to meet Jesus. Often, many of us read these stories to obtain the objective, the take-away. What do I need to learn from this story? How am I supposed to be now? We look at Peter’s exclamation of faith, we look at Peter and who he became: this rock, this bold, brave, holy transformed human being who gave his life for Jesus. And we think: That. We are supposed to be like that. Now.
We grasp at the take away, forgetting what it took to get him there. We skip through the rough and tumble parts. The running away parts. We skip through the denials and blunders. We skip through all of the walking, stumbling, journey that Peter took on his way to becoming the rock that he was created to be. We skip to the end and say or think: That’s what faith is. That’s what I need to be. That’s the conclusion that I’m supposed to reach. But faith isn’t necessarily a conclusion, is it?
Peter had to live through his story before he got to the “rock” part. He had to live through all of it. Living through his story is what helped mold him as God transformed him into a rock of a person.
I find myself in these stories–at the white-knuckled, is-that-really-you-Jesus parts. I am hopeful because the stories don’t end there. And I know that my story hasn’t ended either.
And just as Peter had to live through his story, all the parts of it, I also have to live through my story. I can’t skip to the end. I can’t find out what is going to happen or how I get from here to there. I need to let go of my need to know the answers now.
I am being invited to live the story that I am in, where I am at, right now.
Isn’t that what life is? An invitation. An invitation to live with eyes, heart, arms, and hands wide open.
What does it mean for today?
For me, I need to let go of the fear of living my story without the answers in sight.
What about you?
Ask your questions.
Listen for your answers.
Take the step that is offered to you today. Whatever that is.
You have permission to live your story without knowing the end or even tomorrow’s part.
Be patient with the process.
is slow work.
Maybe faith is not a destination, but an invitation to a journey.
Embrace the process.
Embrace your story–all of its parts.