When I was young, my family decided to take a trip to southern Indiana to celebrate Thanksgiving with my grandmother's family. Somehow, it was decided we would travel Thanksgiving morning by caravan. I was in my grandfather's tan LTV Ford which was big and long but not really set up for kids to be traveling in. I became bored. Our trip seemed to take longer than planned. I began to become really hungry, so much so, my patience had left me. My grandfather soon regretted taking me in his car as I peppered him and Grandma with a litany of "Are we there yet?".
Now as a father, my youngest has acquired this talent. Without fail, my child will fall asleep about five minutes into the trip. After about an hour, he wakes up and expects that we have completed our four hour road trip. Inevitably, my wife and I begin to be peppered with "Are we there yet?". Nothing like just desserts I suppose.
Now, as with most individuals, one of life's lessons, patience, was learned in these encounters. The waiting on the Thanksgiving meal was a lesson on waiting for the good stuff in life. As much as I wanted the time to pass, I could not make my grandfather drive faster. I was not in control; and I had to rely on my loved ones to make good decisions on getting me to a really good meal.
As for my son, my patience is tested. My son's questions remind me of the importance of making good decisions and taking my time to make sure my family gets to a destination safely and efficiently. Both lessons require trust in others and trust in myself to make good decisions.
As a member of the Nominating Committee that put together the PNC, we were inundated with questions of where we were in the process. I too began to pray the "Are we there yet?". I had to remember to take my time and allow the Spirit to work. The lessons of patience came flooding back. Ultimately, the Spirit led us to a great group of people who are well connected to the Spirit.
Now, I find myself in the "back seat" of this process. I, just like many of us, am tempted to ask, "Are we there yet?" However, I remember how long it took for our last PNC to find the Muellers. It was their deliberate dedication to listening to the Spirit on whom would be the best for the church.
I trust our PNC. I know they will be as deliberate as the last PNC in seeking out where the Spirit is leading our church. I know they will be working diligently and purposefully, not rushing the process, despite my younger self pleading to them "Are we there yet?".
God's plan works on God's time. We learned this through the many stories within the Bible. Abraham was thought to be too old. David was too young. Forty years in the desert seemed like an eternity. Paul's time in prison. These are all stories of God's timing being different than what we think it should be. More often than not, we are rewarded for our patience with something even grander than we thought possible.
I will use the lessons of the Bible and of my lifetime, I am praying for the PNC. My prayers consist of asking for blessings and wisdom for the PNC. I am praying for God's plan to revel itself to the PNC. I know the PNC will follow this plan and we will have our new pastor in God's time. Please join me in those prayers.