Tuesday, November 15, 2005

To Date or to Wait

In the time that I have been alone, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I am not suited to high maintenance romantic relationships. That sounds really harsh doesn't it? But I'm not saying it coldly or lightly. Experience has taught me that I'm the kind of person who likes to administer to the needs of the many. In the past I have been in relationships (both romantic and friendly), where my capacity to do that, has been greatly diminished because the person I have been around has demanded almost exclusive attention to their problems and needs... so much so that I tended to lose my sense of identity, self awareness and my attention to the needs of others.

At the same time, I have learned that my ability to reach out to people is hindered by my lack of emotional support.

I think before I would have said that in a relationship God would have used me to create opportunities and open doors for the person I loved to go through... but it is slowly dawning on me that actually, it is the other way around.

It will soon be my 31st birthday... and it is always around birthdays that we tend to examine ourselves and evaluate our performance... particularly in areas we feel we are missing out.

Earlier this year and again recently, I felt that God spoke to me through Genesis 24. It's the passage where Abraham sends his servant off to get a wife for his son Isaac. Several things jump out at me from that. Firstly Abraham didn't want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman because he knew their culture was offensive to God. Secondly, Abraham didn't want Isaac to be involved and go off with his servant to look for a bride, presumably because he'd pick the wrong kind of person. Abraham's servant relied on God's wisdom for a sign; God rewarded the trust the servant was showing in him by fulfilling that sign through Rebekah. Finally, when Rebekah arrived at Abraham's household, Isaac was meditating... he was focusing his attention on his relationship with God.

So I think God is working this out for me. I believe he has someone in mind and he doesn't want me to jump ahead of him... or foul things up by hunting down someone inappropriate. The wisdom of the world would tell you that I should be putting effort into catching the eyes of the opposite sex. The wisdom of God says wait... do nothing, risk being left on the shelf, just spend time with him. So which should I trust? Well, the Bible says:

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." - 1 Corinthians 1:25

Furthermore, in the Old Testament the ungodly priests of Baal put a lot of effort into dancing and singing and cutting themselves with knives to secure the favour of their god at the showdown at Mount Carmel... but it was the patient and long suffering Elijah's God who answered by fire and won the day.

So I wait for God to deliver. The funny thing is that now, I feel more patient than I have ever been with regard to this area of my life. Four months ago I was in anguish because I was tearing myself apart; I could have asked somebody out... but in the circumstances, I would have dishonoured God and used his work for my own selfish ends. You have to stay true to your principles... and if you are going to do something, you do it for it's own sake and not for what you can get out of it. Anyway, I think my response to the situation was the Rosetta Stone. It is where everything changed... I was tested, I put my opportunity on the altar and left it there... though it hurt me terribly. Since that time I've been much more at peace.

So instead of chasing after the wind I'm going to wait and see who or what God brings. The really strange thing is I was praying about it last night and when I left church, there was a really strong sense that he had gone on ahead of me, that he was already at work.

You know one of these days he's going to pull a fast one and there'll be a girl at the end of the church drive... just saying God told her to show up and she didn't know why!

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