Plodding

I’m running late after working late last night and after working early from home this morning. Plus the bus had to deal with a stuck gate at the West Little York park and ride. We sat for awhile.

I feel that way often, like I’m sitting, motor running, even revving, but not making any progress. Burning gas and oil and the life of my engine away and not making much headway. I write about that a lot, probably too much, in this little space.

But I’m grateful for the little things. For breakthroughs. It’s been a good week so far. I’m grateful for getting to explain the good news of Jesus to a college student interested in getting baptized this week. For a relationship reconciliation at work. For technical breakthroughs last night while working. To new leadership and new life at the Core (our local community college ministry).

A long time ago I was at a missions conference and a speaker was talking about his, in his view, undeserved reputation as an intellectual. I remember his words: “I am not an intellectual. But I am a plodder.” **

I’m a plodder.  I don’t run the fastest, don’t make the biggest splash, am not the boldest or brightest visionary, don’t attract big crowds. But just wait and watch; the years will pass and you’ll still find me, pushing and plodding down the same track. Over long periods of time you can cover a lot of ground, actually. Plodding. It’s a calling. I believe it’s my calling.

The gate eventually goes up.

** The speaker was Cliffe Knechtle, at the Urbana missions conference back in 1984.

Wait

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalms 27:14 ESV

Waiting is hard. I’m dealing with some things at work that have really taken their toll on me. It shouldn’t be that way, but seems I always find myself here, awaiting strength, courage and rescue.

This exhortation and promise is repeated lots of places in Scripture. Be strong, be courageous, and wait. It is hard to know how to do all three at once. In this formula you have two traits that only exhibit themselves, seemingly, in action: strength and courage. Then there’s “wait”.

I’m not particularly good at waiting, though most of the time I don’t have a choice.

Lord, make me a good waiter.

 

Be there

Back on the bus; it’s been a few days. I spent a lot of time in cars over the long weekend. Trip to Waco Friday. Unplanned trip back to Houston Friday night to deal with an attic leak. Saturday drive to Dallas to meet back up with the family. Marathon one-day road trip on Sunday with Bethany to get her car back to Chicago. Flight back home yesterday. It was a gauntlet but I made it, and there was a lot to enjoy along the way. I think I did a decent job at not missing out on the good things happening in the moments that made up what was, physically, a fairly stressful weekend. Being present in each moment doesn’t always come easy for me. I’m still learning.

There is a balance to be found between thinking only of the future or only of the past at the ends of the spectrum, versus being where you’re at, now. The past offers wisdom and experience. The future is something to press toward, but the present is where all the real action is.

Be there.