Thursday, October 18, 2012

Joy in the Journey

My little one wants so much to be big.

He already thinks he is.  If his brothers can do it, he believes he should be able to also.  This is especially true when we are playing outside.  For a months now he would climb up on the biggest bike he could find, helmut ready, waiting for the crazy thing to move, his little feet dangling above the ground.  Big brother's wheels have often proved too big.

So much like me.

I already think I'm ready for the plans God has for me, dreams to be more and do more, longings to fulfill a destiny, fulfilled by purpose, living out of a burning passion that is kindled every day.  I want to be further along than I am.  And I forget that God has plans.  More than one.  That those plans include a guide for what fills in the blank between now and the thing I was made for.  Some dreams are just too big now to live.  But there are some smaller ones that will do just fine.  For now.

In digging through the garage one day, Jeremiah found the littlest bike.  Over the last few weeks he has been trying to master it.  His feet stretch as far as they can to rest on the pedals, but they reach enough.  And his coordination lacks the strength to pedal with strength and speed, but he can still make the crazy thing go!  And and after days of practice, he can finally do it without me walking behind him giving him the big push.  I wish you could have seen him yesterday--the huge smile on his face, the light in his eyes, the thrill of accomplishment in his excited chatter--oh he was so proud!  It was like his whole body was begging me to see:  "Look Mommy!  I'm riding a bicycle!"

And so happy.

It makes me think that sometimes I have to relent and find the dream I fit. 

I've thought much about these in between times.  What exactly does one do when waiting for the Promise?  I mean, I love that verse that says God knows the plans He has for us to give us a future with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  But what about the in-between-times?  What about those days, months, and yes, even years, when we are waiting for dream?  So while I love the stirring words of futures and hopes and plans, it can be depressing sometimes.  What I really need is something to get me through.  A smaller victory while I'm waiting to grow into my "big wheels."

And that's why I love Jeremiah 29:5-7.  I love its honesty, its gentleness, its matter-of-fact encouragement: 
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
What are we supposed to do while we are living apart from the Promise?  We are called to live as a child of Promise.  We are called to grow, and multiply, and live well, seeking to know the One who is the Promiser.  And when we can do that, the Promise has a way of finding us.  We no longer have to spend ourselves finding it.

I love that Jeremiah could relinquish the desire to ride big brother's bike.  It was what enabled him to discover the joy of riding the bicycle that is all his own.  Able to make the thing go on his own. 

And this is where I am too.  Trying to find a way to pedal along.  Full of the joy of the journey. 

Even while I'm waiting to arrive at a greater destination.

I'm just so thankful for these sweet traveling companions.

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