Take Another Lap around Mt. Sinai

. . . Have you been in the situation
When the Lord asked you to wait upon Him
But it seemed you could not remain still
So you started planning what you’re gonna do
Cause you thought the Lord had forgotten you
And just then you heard these words:

Go on and . . . take another lap around Mt. Sinai
‘Til you learn your lesson
‘Til you stop your whining and you quit your rebellin’
‘Til you learn to stand in your day of testin’
By trustin’ and obeyin’ the Lord.  (from “Take Another Lap Around Mt. Sinai”)    

Have you ever felt like all you’re doing is taking yet another lap around “Mt. Sinai”? The tiresome monotony isn’t just the infinite number of laps you’ve already endured.  The scenery hasn’t changed in a while, either, and it’s beyond, well let’s face it, BORING! This hurry up and wait deal just doesn’t work for folks (like myself) who have issues with ‘slow’. The question was did I prefer to be moving in monotonous circles around the mountain or did I prefer to hurry up and wait at the base of the mountain? Neither option was exactly a thrilling prospect.

Friday, January 18, 2013. My brain and my body, still functioning as two separate entities, leave me feeling like I just stepped off MIND ERASER. Still reeling from the last 48 hours, I just want to go home and sleep. I’m not sure just how many more laps around “Mt. Sinai” I’m up for:  The car that had grown tired of ignored protests and died with the repair shop visible from the windshield: $2,000 to replace the transmission. Which I don’t have because my (now previous) employer has been “legally” garnishing my wages since September 2006 . . . .

I’ve been released from the hospital long before I should have been with H&H levels still at scary and unstable levels because I refused major high-risk surgery (based on inconclusive test results) and wanted a second opinion . . . . I just want to go home and take advantage of the up-coming three-day weekend. . . .  I just want to be able to lean without needing permission, yet am being forced to stand and be strong.  Finding a way to push beyond the realm of human possibility is beyond anemic comprehension skills.

Just the other day I heard the Lord say
(Daughter), you got to take another step of faith
And trust Me to carry you thro’ the storm
But when the storm started gettin’ rough
Well I thought the Lord wasn’t strong enough
So I started doin’ things on my own. . .

Go on and . . . take another lap around Mt. Sinai
‘Til you learn your lesson
‘Til you stop your whining and you quit your rebellin’
‘Til you learn to stand in your day of testin’
By trustin’ and obeyin’ the Lord.

As body and my brain were essentially functioning as two separate entities, I had little choice but to pause, little choice but to wait. The “get-up-and-go-that-got-up-and went” was “M.I.A.”  so while my body continued to argue in favor of “no go”, my brain, arguing in favor of “slow go”, devised survival tactics in an effort to remain strong. The plan, although perhaps not a starburst of an idea, was to drive (which I shouldn’t have been doing) to church Sunday morning, go in and get a bulletin and drive back to the visit-for-the-weekend-location (theoretically when asked, I could say “yes, I made it to church”).  (Aside – And, no, I’m not particularly proud of the plan to cheat).

My brain had pretty much decided that maybe, just maybe, God had forgotten me. That maybe, just maybe, God wasn’t strong enough to carry me through this. Armed with the best survival-staying strong tactic my brain could devise, I set out for church Sunday morning. Except some of the ministry staff and several close friends saw me, tried their hardest to conceal the looks of shocked horror, and gave me what I probably most needed in those moments: huge hugs & later, prayer. God not only hadn’t forgotten me, maybe, just maybe, He was strong enough . . . so much for being able to “cheat” my way out of church Sunday morning.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

“Lord, let’s be realistic about this: the verb “to wait” (in any and all its participle forms) isn’t exactly synonymous with one who has issues with slow. After all, I speak English and the denotation of “to wait”, “wait”, “waiting”, “waited” is to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens; to remain neglected for a time.”

“[I] wait[ed] patiently for the Lord . . . .” (Psalm 40:1a)

“Not only do You want me to wait, You want me to wait HOW??PATIENTLY??  . . . I’m sorry, I think my anemic brain is still having a processing delay. Maybe we can just forget the part about waiting? Oh, and by the way, what exactly do You propose in terms of being strong and taking heart . . .after all, “Mt. Sinai” isn’t exactly a mirage; it’s more like in my face reality at the moment.”

“Since ancient times no one has heard, nor ear perceived, no eye has seen any God besides [You] Me who acts on behalf of those who wait for [Him] Me.” (Isaiah 64:4, paraphrase mine)

Sigh. Guess I’ll start the next lap . . . . And since I’ll be moving slowly by myself in the wilderness, I might as well do my best to enjoy the “scenery”. “Oh, look! I don’t remember seeing that brown rock before . . . oh, never mind. It’s the same one I stepped over yesterday.”

Okay, so I can’t exactly say that I had a great “heart-ittude”.

If we approach God humbly for instantaneous deliverance, knowing well and good He can give it, yet He chooses to use the wagon of time, He’s writing history with each ponderous turn of the wheel and you’re riding shotgun. Good stories don’t jump on a page. They toss and turn, ebb and flow, rise and fall . . . .(Moore, Get Out of That Pit, 149).

Beth Moore goes on to explain, [t]he good news is we may have to wait for deliverance while the vehicle of time jolts and lurches, but we never have to wait on God Himself. Never have to wait to enjoy His presence or be reassured of His love. . . .The only wait is on seeing His work manifest in the physical realm, seeing our petition come to fruition (149).

Did you catch that? I never have to wait to enjoy being in God’s presence. I never have to wait to be reassured of His love.  Even if I’m in the wilderness, I don’t have to wait for God to show up. His name is “I AM”. “Be still and know that I AM God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10, emphasis mine). The words, “be still” literally mean to cease striving, to relax, to rest, to become quite. It’s as if I’m being commanded to literally stop striving and relax in the presence of “I AM” – to rest in the presence of an ever-present God and enjoy His presence and bask in His love. “One thing I have desired of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. . . .My heart says of You, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, Lord I will seek” (Psalm 27:4,8).  While I’m busy waiting, I can learn to behold the beauty of the One who holds me. Maybe it’s time to redefine our connotation of ‘worship’?

“My soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory” (Psalm 62:2-3). Does waiting bring me to the place of eucharisteo? Does waiting bring me to a place of beholding the beauty of the Lord? After all, waiting, and waiting patiently at that, might mean yet another lap around Mt. Sinai. Perhaps it’s when we “resign” ourselves to waiting patiently that we have the best view of the glory of the One whose beauty is past change.  When I decide to stop complaining about what God isn’t doing and look for all that He has done and is doing (eucharisteo) suddenly Mt. Sinai doesn’t look so intimidating. When I focus on who God is, when I pause to acknowledge His presence, I’m no longer taking yet another lap because all I can “see” is the glory and beauty of the One who holds me.

Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai doesn’t exactly match my definition of “fun”. . . .Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means I have to learn to WAIT . . . .Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means I have to learn to WAIT PATIENTLY . . . .Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means I miss catching a glimpse of His glory. . . . Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means I miss catching a glimpse of His beauty. . . . Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means I haven’t yet learned to fully trust One who holds me . . . .Taking another lap around Mt. Sinai means . . . .

What are you waiting for? Are you willing to wait? Or would you rather take yet another lap around Mt. Sinai?

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity    

 Gift List ~ Grace List

. . . 36. God is at work while I wait
37. bear hugs and prayer, arms to lean on
38. friends I never realized I had
39. a loving and caring small group
40. having enough sick days left; can take another day. . .