Wednesday, May 21, 2014

'Meantime' Living

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
I know I am supposed to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, trusting that in doing so, God will provide all the rest that I need.  Truth be told, I still struggle with that trust.  There is so much that I feel I need, not the least of which is, a bit more clarity on how everything in the near future is going to fall into place! 

We are living with so many unknowns right now.  Trying to end well, say ‘good’ goodbyes, finish up projects, sell our stuff… And then there’s ‘there’, moving back to the US with jobs, home, vehicle, etc.  On top of it all, the unknown of the residency process for Carlos.  At times, it all presses in and I sit slouched in my chair, immobilized by how much I need to do. 
As much as all of that is, however, I find myself struggling with an even bigger problem.  I know my priority in all things needs to be seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness.  But, how do I do that in this ‘meantime’? 

How do I invest in the people around me here, all the while preparing to leave this place and start again elsewhere?  It’s tempting to just not worry about it, pushing off that stuff until more of my life feels settled. 

It made me think about other people who are living in ‘meantime’ places.  Lots of kids are graduating from high school or college right now.  That can be a ‘meantime’ – both for them, and for their families.  There are people waiting for a medical diagnosis that could change their lives.  For a marriage or divorce.  For a baby.  For word on a new job. 
Can any of us honestly say that our lives are without some form of ‘meantime’ or other?
So, do we get a ‘pass’ from seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness while we’re waiting for things to come together?  The fact of the matter is we will always be in the process of beginnings and endings.  The Bible itself tells us this.  Our true citizenship is not of this earth, and so our condition as humans is living in the meantime. 

In two of his letters, the apostle Paul tells believers to make the most of every opportunity.  He doesn’t say do so when things are organized and orderly or when you are feeling comfortable and confident. 
We know that the churches he wrote to were experiencing troubled times, internal difficulties, external pressures.  Paul himself wrote from prison much of the time.  None of that stopped him from directing those early believers to share the Good News at any and all times. 
In Ephesians Paul tells believers to be careful, living wisely, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (5:15-16).  It was true then, and it certainly hasn’t stopped being true today! 

In Colossians Paul says to be wise in the way we act toward outsiders, making sure our conversation is always filled with grace and seasoned with salt (4:5-6).    

Focusing in on myself, on my state of flux, on my meantime, stops me from focusing on the ‘one thing’ (Luke 10:42) that will actually give me peace about all the rest.  I pray that I will seek God’s kingdom and righteousness on a daily basis.  Not because I have it all figured out, not because things are settled, but because they are not. 
I pray that I will be faithful to make the most of every opportunity God gives me in all of my meantimes so that I can share the hope I have with this unsettled, uncertain, meantime world.

1 comment:

  1. The words of your heart bless mine. Thank you for sharing this.