by Norine Shaivitz
I keep telling the Lord, “It’ll happen in about five years.”
There’s this thing I really want to happen. Actually, I would really like it to happen right now. But it isn’t happening now. And no matter how much I’d like to make it happen, it isn’t happening. So, I say, “I’m years away.”
Of course, I have no idea whether I’m years away. Or whether it will happen in five years. And every time I say, “years away,” I experience a brief self-reliant satisfaction of thinking I have saved myself from getting my hopes up and then having them dashed. But that satisfaction gives way to the truth that only God knows how far off my dream is, and I don’t have the authority to say whether or when.
It’s so hard to rest in not knowing. I just want to know. I am sure that I would have peace if I could just know. I want to know when, and why, and exactly how, and also when. Wouldn’t I feel better to know?
How am I supposed to rest in the idea that I don’t have any idea what is happening, or when, or why, or how? How am I supposed to rest in having no control over the situation? So, I take these guilty pleasures of saying, “five years” or “years away,” and, then I take it back because I know full well that only God knows.
I pounded my fist into my palm with these very questions, then raising my hands in internal yelling in front of the tabernacle before I realized a group of Saint Louis Catholic School kids was right next to me, wondering what in the world I was doing. I felt like the biblical Hannah who was accused of being drunk but had to explain that she was only pouring her heart out to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:12-15).
The Lord has said, “Do not worry.” The Lord has said, “He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds.” The Lord has said, “Your Father knows what you need.” So, why do I find it so hard?
I started to think about what I should be thinking about instead of worrying about the thing I so much want to happen right now, but might be years away, or tomorrow, or never. And then I thought about how I can completely miss time with my kids because I’m so focused on how I will need to do laundry and dinner and help with homework later. I thought about how much time I was missing with my Heavenly Father right now because I’m so focused on “the thing.”
Someone was telling me recently that God is kairos – everything is now. And we on earth are in chronos – linear time with a past, present and future. When you are thinking about the past and the future, you’re in chronos. And when you are so focused on the people and the love you are sharing, you join kairos – right now.
I suddenly thought, “If I could just be locked into gazing at my Father and Him gazing at me, I wouldn’t care about tomorrow or five years from now or what I think I should be doing.”
So, that’s how you rest.
I was a lot less agitated at that moment. And the school kids, who had moved on to their assignment of straightening up the books in the chapel, saw a lot less animation from me. I was gazing at the Father and He was gazing at me. We were just resting.