February 16, 2014 by Beth Hess
And then there are days — sometimes many, many of them one after another — that feel, instead, like treading water. Running in circles. Marked-off calendar blocks without any marked life progress.
These days? Well, these are not like waiting at all. These — if we are honest — feel wasted.
Last week I had a dream. In my favorite moments of the sleep that comes early in the morning when you realize you don’t have to get up yet, this story unfolded in my subconscious.
I’m involved in some kind of missions team that is headed to Zambia. The exact nature of our work there is not clear, but it’s clearly something I’m exciting about. Maybe even something I feel I was made for. Like a new fiancée showing off her diamond, I can’t help but tell everyone around me, “I’m going to Zambia.”
Lots of people have pledged prayer and dollars for me to make the trip. Others have, in any number of ways, been cheering me towards it for a long, long time. It’s important work.
And the plane leaves in the morning.
The anticipated dawn comes, but I don’t go straight to the airport. Instead I head to a house-cleaning job. The implication is that this is a regular appointment for me. The owners are expecting me. They don’t care I’m going to Zambia. That mission is not important to them.
Upon arrival, I notice trash spread on the front stoop. One room has horrible carpet stains. Some old. Some new and still wet. This won’t be easy, and it won’t be quick, and my mind keeps screaming, “Why did you even come here!?! You are going to miss your flight! Your Zambia! Your mission! It won’t wait!”
But then comes the voice I’ve learned to trust. The One that always speaks with reason. And with love. And with gentle authority.
He says, “Clean this first. Then go. It will not be too late.”
No matter how I feel, there is no wasted in the Redeemer’s vocabulary. Wasted is the opposite of Grace. Because Grace can reach into every situation. Because Grace HAS REACHED into every situation and declared, “It is not too late.”
The Word of the Week — the one I have selected to dwell amongst for the next 7 days — is a reminder of this beautiful truth: Whatever hamster wheel you feel like you’re spinning on right now, it is ABSOLUTELY and COMPLETELY UNABLE to rob one fraction of a second away from your next appointed stage of life. It’s OK to do “this” first. For “that” will arrive at its perfectly ordained time.
God has already set the date; the appointed time has already been set on your calendar. Your time will be not a second late. Habakkuk 2:3