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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Impatient follower

I consider myself a fairly faithful person. I attend Mass regularly. I pray before meals (well, ok, dinner). I am aware of God at work in my life and try to remember to say thank you. But, I am an impatient follower. I find myself running to God with the urgent request of the day (or the week or the month), then tapping my foot waiting for an answer. If only God used instant messenger.

But often, there is that period of quiet and stillness where my plea is hanging out there and no lightning bolts of clarity are coming in response. For as much as I beg my kids for peace and quiet, I'm uncomfortable with it when it comes from my God. Tell me what to do. Give me a sign that I'm on the right path. Hello God, it's me, Amy. Are you there?

In the absence of an immediate response from Him, I fill that silence with a twisting, emotional debate between my heart and my head. Trying to force an answer, trying to control the outcome of whatever the situation might be. It's exhausting, really.

And foolish, because if I would rest in the quiet, if I would let go of my need to orchestrate every last detail, if I would trust that God will lead where I should follow, I have a sneaking suspicion that I would hear the answer I'm so impatiently waiting for. That instead of being tired and worn out, I would be fulfilled by the assurance that someone greater is at the controls.

Thanks for letting me:


Eternal Lizdom said...

One of the best things I've learned (and am constantly practicing and working to do better with) is to give it to God. When I pray about it, I have to also turn it over and let it go. Big things or little things, there is no reason for me to hang on to them. I strive to do the best I can in each moment and when things are out of my control and I'm lost and I turn to God... I have to turn and lean fully.

Momza said...

Patience is a gift.
We learn it from practicing it,
just like learning anything else,
and the cool part about it is
we are given multiple opportunities to exercise patience in our life
until we learn to trust in the process.
Sucha very honest post today!
Thanks Amy!

kbiermom said...

Funny -- we women have been this way for eons. Take the story of Abram and Sarai waiting for God to fulfill his promise to make Abram the father of God's chosen people (Genesis 16). When they didn't conceive, she gave her servant Hagar, to her husband. Maybe they thought, well, God said Abram would be the father, but he didn't specify the mother...? She ended up regretting her decision big-time.

In general, we moms are responsible for managing so many details of family life, from what's for dinner to who needs to be picked from where and when -- and it all has to be carefully orchestrated -- it can be very hard to even find the time to slow down the pace of our racing minds. We know how to march - and we just want our marching orders to be clear so we can get on it. I have vented exactly that at my husband recently :/

So. You're not at all alone in feeling this way. :)

Read 1 Kings 19. Just before this, Elijah had experienced God's power in big dramatic ways, but he's come to a crossroads: despite all God has done (actually, *because* of it!) he finds that his own life is in danger -- so he is hiding, and in despair. He finds that the voice of God is not in the fire or the earthquake, but in a gentle whisper. God does answer his plea for direction and help.

Maybe it would help to think of prayer as a planting a seed. I might try this: I may plant a seed to symbolize a particular prayer. Then, when I water and tend that seed, I can remember how God is working through that seed to produce a plant, in amazing invisible ways, just as surely as he is using his amazing invisible ways toward answering my prayer :)

Janet said...

I really needed to hear this today and to read the other comments.

My 6th grader, who is steroid dependent, might have diabetes. I need patience in helping her with all of the glucose monotoring.

My 2nd grader, who was born w/ bilateral cleft lip & palate, has autism and is non-verbal, is getting is 10th set of PE tubes tomorrow (in 5 years).

My healthy 4th grader feels lost.

Everyone's words really help. Thanks!

Joanie said...

Your post has me in tears, remembering my past, 6 years ago, when I was literally on my knees, begging God to help me save my marriage, to make my husband see that being with her was wrong. It took me a good 3 or 4 years to understand that He did, indeed, answer my prayers, but the answer was no. It wasn't until not so long ago that I realized I was meant to be with John. Oddly enough, if I ever marry John, I won't be allowed to receive the sacraments because of my (and his) divorces.

I don't go to Mass any more, but I do pray, in my own way. The last 6 years have been a struggle for me, emotionally, financially, John's battle with cancer. And my ex has a great life, with the woman he broke his marriage vows with. They have money, they travel, a nice house with no worries.

It doesn't seem fair, does it?

Joanie said...

sorry that turned into a rant... something I haven't done in a long time. Yes, I'm bitter at times, but I try to deal with it.

I thought of deleting my previous comment but decided to leave it there.

Shell said...

I think when most of us pray, we are praying for what we want and we want results RIGHT NOW. Instead of just praying for God's will in our lives and for the peace to be able to handle it.

Beautiful and thought-provoking post.

Katie said...

Oh my! I can relate so much with what you all have written. Trusting God with our prayers--and with His answers--is so hard to do. In my heart, I know that He is worthy of my trust and that He has never let me down in the long run. But I still want an answer the way I want it and when I want it!!
I need to rest in the Lord at these times and I imagine being a child and curled up in Jesus's arms. My prayers are sometimes so much like a child's whining and God, the everlasting and perfect loving Father, is oh so patient with me.

Dear Amy, don't ever give up! In the end, it is all worth it! Remember, that one day God will wipe away every tear and sorrow will be no more.

*Nikki* said...

i completely understand...soemtimes when i pray now.i just sit and listen..

Mrs4444 said...

Yeah, He can't do his thing until you truly let it GO! :) Being patient is tough sometimes.

Karen and Gerard said...

I think lots of people feel this way, especially when we are so used to getting things right away in our high tech society. It's really hard for me to just be still and quiet to listen for God.