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Archive for the ‘waiting on God’ Category

It’s taken me a while to figure this out. What I thought was the Promised Land turned out to be a bit of a desert. Maybe I’m not so unlike the Israelites: can’t tell a resort from a wrong turn in the Sahara.

For the past three years, I’ve felt life slow down. You’ve seen slow-motion for a sports replay and you’ve seen director’s use slow-mo for dramatic effect. Maybe God uses the same techniques. Like why do they call abstaining a “fast” when it goes so slow?

But slow motion for three years? Please!

Well, I’ve been told that I only have two speeds: fast and sleeping. So, in God’s wisdom, He’s decided that I needed a third setting, or should I say, “Setting Aside.”

I know I’m not alone. Also tasting the delicacies of sand on their tongues were Jesus, Moses and St. Paul. The desert is for everyone. That’s why God made it so dang big…so we couldn’t see each other while we’re out there 🙂

In retrospect, I think I was running for so long that it’s tantamount to getting off a treadmill – you still think you’re running. It’s a whole retraining. The race belongs to the slow.

Slowness and deserts go together. Have you ever seen a runner jump in the car to get to the desert just so he can dash along in the 110 degree heat?

It hit me this morning. The desert doesn’t desire my resignation, but my embrace. It’s like binoculars. God uses the desert to bring His face into focus. When there’s no scenery except Him, He’s easier to spot.

I thought about Jesus in the desert with nothing except God’s Word. Both Jesus and His Father kept that.

 

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While I am a positive person, I’m not a literal positive-thinker in the Norman Vincent Peale sense. For one, a lot of bad and tough things do happen. For another, by nature, I think of the “what-ifs” in life. And lastly, at times, like all six billion people on the planet, I have to eliminate ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ in the spiritual bathrooms of life. 

But then there’s being a “God-thinker.” That’s different from positive-thinking which sometimes borders on denial.
What happened to me this morning brought me back to being a God-thinker. Through some disheartening experiences last night, I went to bed on New Year’s with some mild depression. Not a good start for the new year and decade. Sort of like fumbling the ball on the first play of the game.
But at nearly 1 in the morning, I turned to a station that was playing the “best of” shows from this past year. It was on victims of depression who had turned into victors OVER depression through the power of God’s love. And this included a double amputee who lost her legs from lying in front of a 35-car freight train. She smiled all through her gruesome story as she related God’s love and His rescue of her ‘stinkin’ thinkin.’
I went to bed thinking that God cared enough for me to make me watch a show I had never seen at an hour that I’m never up on a rare night of depression for me.
Upon waking up, I went to finish watching a message from yesterday by a Christian tele-teacher. I opened my electronic journal to take notes. I had never done that before in my life. To make the coincidence even more exciting, I ALWAYS start a new journal each January 1 and I forgot – so the notes went right after my last entry (more on that later).
The speaker spoke on “Seeing Your Set Time” and how there is a set time for dreams/visions that God puts in our hearts; as if the dream is on God’s calendar for a set time. Waiting for some dreams was exactly what had put me in a discouraging funk lately. Then, a part of his message mentioned a person who worked at a motion picture studio who had to put off her dream of making movies to become a part-time receptionist there, only to be promoted to vice president because she did a good job for seven years at her lowly position. (I have a movie that I’ve written that hasn’t moved as fast as I’d like.) But the most amazing “coincidence” was that, in my last journal entry from two weeks earlier, I felt God say the following: “You are not far off. Do not put things on your timeline. I AM directing your life and its time line.”
As all this was happening, a remarkable sunrise occurred and I realized that it was New Year’s Day, which is symbolic of time itself. Just another coincidence? We used to call them “Godincidences.” 
The reassurance that I’m on track is exciting. The new day, the new year and the new decade are just a shadow compared with my new attitude; my God-thinking. There was even a set time for this teaching on “Set Time.” Some set-up.

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I’ll never forget reading what a famous actor once said: “The most important thing they never taught me in acting school was how to wait tables.”

At the time I had read that, I was trying to launch a consulting company and writing career and I decided that there was a great deal of truth in that… that we sometimes have to purchase the future by doing something in the present that is humbling or temporary.
I had been in consulting and had often gone out to eat with clients, my family and alone. It was very humbling to be on the other side of that now. I’ll never forget how humbling. An old neighbor of mine sat at my table and in front of a large, extremely wealthy and powerful table of lobbyists (my old career, no less), exclaimed, “This is Bobby LaCosta. I used to have a crush on him back in New Jersey.” She meant no harm, but I, in fact, was the one who was crushed.
I learned that it was hard, even at my more advanced age (late 20’s!), to find a waiter’s position. I got hired and fired at a fancy French restaurant – they had me doing pots and pans. I got flashbacks of doing the same thing when I was 14! When I finally got a job, the owner almost canned me, but his wife interceded for me.
I got the hang of waiting on tables – I called it my “Master’s Degree in Prioritization” and I began taking notes on checks to write a book on waiting on tables – which are still in my files. I also learned to respect good service people and how hard the job was and that as Ann Landers once wrote, “most earn their tips.”
Waiting on tables takes you away from your family at nights and that was difficult. I remember waiting on a family with a little girl and something hit me in the gut because I missed my little Guinevere who was 3 or 4 at the time. I used to love tucking her in. I went into the restaurant’s bathroom, ashamed as I was, and wept and wept and when I came out, I was sure everyone had heard me.
Although my consulting company/writing career didn’t take off at that time, I continued to wait on tables. I eventually took a full-time position, but decided that its salary couldn’t support us. It was moonlighting this time and back to waiting on tables.
Desperate for some meaning in my career, I had secured permission to use my boss’s computer above the restaurant. I couldn’t afford my own computer. I began to write midnight columns for newspapers. But even that eventually fizzled due to daytime job commitments.
I must have gotten pretty good at waiting on tables, however, as two huge restaurant reviews mentioned me by name – one theorized that I must be a law student and the other bannered a headline that read, “The Best Little Restaurant in Albany.”
But even after that, I would place a new setting after new setting after new settings on the table and literally ask God, “How long must I wait on tables?” Month after month, year after year, He was patiently teaching me how to wait on Him.

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