I have a tendency that tends to rush things. I am eager, I love anticipating the perfect moment (inevitably I am too aggressive), and I think I can anticipate what others are going to say. In every case my approach is “why wait”! There is one flaw, at least, in my approach. I am drawing conclusions that are at best incomplete. I haven’t been patience, I do not have the complete story, and I have rushed to a conclusion that if I had waited and listened all the way through would have been different.
With age and the passing of decades I find myself pausing and asking if I have the complete picture. Do I know? Do I see everything that is relevant for a decision? Am I in a position to act? Unless the verdict is a unanimous “yes” then the decision is clear, it isn’t decision time yet.
There is one risk that hasn’t gone away. I now hear, see, and gather far more facts and information yet I just do not believe what I am seeing! It just cannot be. Things are not what I perceive them to be. The scene is not as I anticipated and the nuances do not fit. This conundrum is far more common that any of us are willing to admit.
Even in days gone by, John’s doubts crept into his record as he saw a strange scene in his vision. “I looked hard; I heard a lone eagle, flying through Middle-Heaven, crying out ominously, “Doom! Doom! Doom to everyone left on earth!” (Revelation 8.13)
The picture did not add up as expected. This scene and cry wasn’t the ending for which he had labored and risk his life. How could this be? Why could this be? Could this be?
My advice in this situation is simple. People don’t change in the middle of a scene, including God. Just when everything tells you to doubt others, to distrust God, to question your core tenants, you know one thing. Now is the time to exercise faith, trust, and hope!