At one point in my life I was probably not very patient. Some things seemed to be so good that waiting was such a distraction. I wanted to be able to move on, experience the next adventure, the next door that opened to me, the next chapter in my life. Life with my family was always fulfilling and my ministry provided the rewards and challenges that kept me impatiently waiting for the next nudging from God to see where I would be led.
I could hear in my head the question of the psalmist, “How long, O Lord? (Psalm 13:1)”
I was an impatient child of God!
Then it changed. Perhaps it was the realities of health issues or approaching retirement. It might have been the confidence that my children had reached their life when they no longer fully relied on me. It may have been when I realized that I was entering the final third of my life. Maybe it was just that I had come to the realization that God knew I was an impatient vessel and it was time to take a step back and wait for God to “order my steps,” to quote a spiritual.
So, I have learned that “How long, O Lord” is not according to my time, but it’s waiting on God. And that has made all the difference. Life slowed down, the world around me blossomed, and I could enjoy all that I was experiencing.
But now, in the middle of a global (and very local) pandemic, I hear others cry out that same question, “How long, O Lord?” How long, before we don’t need to worry about where we go or who we encounter? How long, before we can return to the sanctuary for worship, fellowship and the regular activities of the church? How long before we can be who we were before this crazy life change?
Add to that, the reality that the Pilgrim family has been in a kind of exodus wilderness for the past two years, not knowing when God was going to get you to the promised land of a settled pastor, the cry continues, “How long, O Lord?” Impatience sets in. Frustration with the process, with the search committee, with the potential candidates, with God, fills the congregation’s soul. The question remains, “How long…?”
We do not know the answers or the time or the purpose – except that we know the time and the purpose of all things are of God. It is God who has always been there for Pilgrim Church and her people, in the times of community outreach ministries, in the middle of pastoral searches, and in a global pandemic. Impatience can distract us from the constant love and presence of God. Impatience can keep us from seeing the possibilities that God places before us. Impatience may even keep us from seeing God in our midst.
Pilgrim family, God is working in and through you. God continues to bring the community needs to your hearts. God will bring to Pilgrim the best pastor to serve with you into the future. Have faith in God. Have love for one another. Have patience in these impatient times.
Once again, I thank you for allowing me to share in this part of your journey of faith and hope, because I’m no longer an impatient person, but one who is blessed by God’s presence.
Be a blessing,
Rev. Bill Klossner