Friday, August 31, 2012

Trust The Delay

Picture this. It’s very early in the morning. My wife and I are sitting on a plane in New Orleans preparing to return home. We’d had a late night so we were exhausted. We settled into our seats and prepared for the 2 hour plane trip. Vicki pulls out her iPad & I pulled out mine and we got as comfortable as you can on an airplane. The plane began to taxi away from the gate and we were on our way. And that was a good thing. Because once we landed, kids, grands,  errands, meetings and chores awaited us.

The plane continued to taxi down the runway, but then it came to a complete stop. Initially we didn’t pay much attention to it because we’d started losing our ability to concentrate on the iPads…our eyes were slowly drifting shut. But after about 10 minutes we realized that we’d been stopped longer than normal.

Right about the time we realized we’d been sitting for a while, the pilot’s voice came over the intercom and informed us that there was a mechanical issue with the plane. We were told that we would have to sit on the runway until the mechanics came to check it out. He jokingly said “thank goodness we caught it while we were still on the ground. We’d hate to get into the high altitudes and expect the mechanics to come up there”.

Eventually the mechanics arrived to the plane, fixed the issue and we were off! We arrived slightly behind schedule, but safe. Thank God.

I  love how God teaches me life lessons in the midst of my ordinary, every-day situations. This was no different.

See, as we waited on the mechanics to check out the plane I was reminded that the same scenario often happens in our lives. We board the “plane” of our dreams, hopes, and goals. We make sure everything is on point…or at least we think everything is on point. We prepare for take-off. But often as we are about to start a new journey, go to the next level, or experience something different, something happens and there is a delay.

I don’t like delays. If I am supposed to leave at 8am, I want to leave at 8am. Not 8:15am, not 9am. I want to leave at 8am.

I don’t like delays.

But I have learned (well. Honestly? I am learning….) to trust the delay. And trusting the delay means having faith in God. Having faith that His plan and will for our lives is so much more strategic and purposeful than we could ever imagine or conjure up!

Unlike the pilot, I find no humor in “middle of the air mechanical problems”, but all jokes aside the pilot preached a mini-sermon to me in that moment.

“Thank goodness we caught it while we were still on the ground. We’d hate to get into the high altitudes and expect the mechanics to come up there”.

Did you catch the mini-sermon? The pilot was talking about a plane…but I heard it for my own life. One of my constant prayers is that my gifts don’t take me anywhere that my character can’t keep me.

As you and I continue to move into new dimensions in every area of our lives, we don’t want to go higher and then crash because our character couldn’t withstand the pressure.

Don’t get me wrong. We never get to a place where we’ve arrived and are free from the need to make character adjustments. But at each new level we must make sure that who we are can withstand the pressures that will inevitably come as we ascend.

So as much as I don’t like delays, I know that the delay may be God’s greatest gift to me.

Just like with the airplane on our trip, the adjustment that needs to be made might be minor. Think about it. We didn’t have to get off the plane and we didn’t have to turn around and go back. We simply had to stop for a minute, fix the problem and then we were able to keep going.

The delay may be the same for you. It doesn’t mean that you stop, walk away and give up on your dreams. It may simply mean that you need to allow your team (your spouse, family, counselor, pastor, etc) to help you fix the problem and then you will be on your way.

Ignoring the delay is dangerous.

Moving forward despite God’s whisper to wait…

Refusing to allow yourself to be surrounded by “mechanics” that can help you address the issue…

Placing your dreams and goals above the bigger picture…

Ignoring the delay is dangerous. So don’t do that. Don’t ignore the delay. Be still. Be quiet. Be open.

Have faith that if God has pushed pause then you should heed the warning and trust the delay.

 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." - Proverbs 16:9

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