wonder in the waiting

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credit: Magnolia Journal – Winter 2018

 

One of the most common sayings that frustrated believers, or those on their way to being believers, say is this: “I just can’t sit there and read the Bible straight through. It’s boring and I don’t understand it.”

I’ve heard it at least a dozen times and I’m sure we’ve both felt that same frustration. What if our actual problem is just that we’re not reading it right?

Maybe we should read the Bible like we don’t know the ending. 

Many of you grew up in church like I did, and some of you didn’t step into church until you were an adult. Whichever it is for you – you’ve heard some of the most famous Christian stories over and over and over again. So, why do we keep telling them? Is anybody getting anything out of them anymore?

our faith is strengthened when we remember. 

                                – Pastor Will Lewis

Do you remember that scene in the Christmas movie Elf, where the people outside of the park begin singing so loudly and honestly that – spoiler alert – Santa’s sleigh is airborne again?

That’s what I imagine reading the Bible to be like – that moment when the thing you’ve done over and over suddenly pays off and you see something like you’ve never seen it before.

We sing the same carols and their renditions every Christmas! We do it so much that some people want to pull their hair out if they hear them before December 1st. But don’t they put you in the mood for the season? Don’t they ignite the magic?

Every time the holidays roll around, I often watch people in their season of “busy.” Forewarning – I loathe the word “busy.” It makes my insides crawl. But when we’re talking about the holiday season in the 21st century, there isn’t a better word for it. 

We’ve taken to stores earlier and earlier each year. We max out credit cards to give our friends and families the best of the best. We spend money on parties that we don’t always enjoy throwing, or we buy white elephant gifts that are just going to be tossed or regifted. 

Is that what we want this season to be remembered for? The hustle and bustle? The never-enough and the missing-somethings?

Do you remember the wonder of what Christmas meant when you were a kid? When neighbors would begin stringing their lights? What about decorating your tree or just enjoying hot chocolate by a fire? Or when you see the first snowfall?

We have allowed our hearts to be corrupted by adult expectations and forgotten our childlike wonder. 

And isn’t it the same with our faith? Reading the Bible can be difficult if you don’t understand why it’s important. But read it with wonder. Read it like it’s the first time, and ask the Lord to show you something new.

You owe it to whatever future version of yourself you dream of to explore the wonder of this world and the adventure of love through Scripture. You owe it to your innocent, younger self – the one that dreamed without a ceiling. Your sense of whimsy may not be awakened overnight, but…this we know to be true:

There is wonder in the waiting.

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