I asked a simple question ‘Do you want to play a games of cards’, and he answered ‘…umm… maybe… I’m not sure….’
I clarified his answer for him.
‘You want to see if something better will turn up don’t you?’
He hummed and rrr’d a few times but i knew it for sure. He didn’t want to agree to anything if there was something better than a card game with me.
And in one way that could be very offensive. But in another it is simply the way our generation does everything,
It also means we miss out on EVERYTHING.
The ‘wait-in-case-theres-better’ ideal has invaded our homes, our marriages, our parenting, our creativity, our job prospects and the adventures we hope for but refuse to commit to.
Today I ran a conversation through my head that covered the topic of marriage. I am convinced that marriage should have nothing to do with the butterfly feelings in my stomach. One reason for this is, I get butterflies in my stomach from cake, and from speaking in front of people. It is not a measurement of covenant success. Marriage is a decision. A YES. A commitment forever, even when there is a hotter girl, a better home, a nicer job, a hard season – it is the commitment to another person forever.
In the midst of that commitment, one can find depths of intimacy unimagined by the ‘wait and see’ lovers. A closeness unattainable by the ‘i just need to try her out first’ brigade. There will always be better, but there will always be fruit of being committed to what you are committed to.
I work for a missions organisation fully staffed by volunteers who sometimes spend a year in the organisation and some spend 35 years. I have now been a part of it for 5 years, and i have attained a depth of insight, revelation and learning from committing in the hard times that I couldn’t have ever had the forethought towards when i had completed my first year. i have hated some of my time, but I have loved it even more because i have stuck it out.
I know of people who have continued to worship God in the midst of physical, emotion and grief-stricken pain. They have seen the face of God, and felt his presence whilst crying constantly for weeks. I also know others who have given up on God in those moments and gained none of his comfort, none of the intimacies found when covenant is kept.
So back to the ‘wait-in-case-theres-better’ ideal. It has invaded even simple moments in my life. Take me to a video store and i will stand there looking for hours if you let me. I don’t want to choose one, if there is better. I don’t want to choose a pizza at a restaurant just in case there is a better one. I don’t want to go hang out with certain people just incase theres a better get together happening.
Just imagine if God was like that.
God: I’m going to love Jeremy until there is someone better to love.
BING – a baby is born. – Instantly better than Jeremy. Instantly cuter, funner, more enjoyable to be around, smells mostly better etc.
And every time a new baby is born, the love is moved. Every time I mess up, love is gone.
But God isn’t like that, he is committed. He was committed to the Israelites throughout their awful behaviour, he kept a remnant, he kept a leader on Davids throne. God doesn’t ‘wait-in-case-theres-better’. He waits because he knows in waiting AND committing in the waiting – thats where better is.
I never really had a teenage rebellion phase, but I know that if i did, my parents would not have given up on me. They were committed to love me forever. And God is the same. God is committed to love.
As Gods people, we need to behave accordingly. Not just in our love, but in our choices. If we commit to play cards, we need to commit to play cards. If we are hanging out with people, we need to hang out with people and not be physically there but mentally online somewhere else in the world. If we commit to a job, we need to commit to that job. and if God has told us Go or stay. we need to go and stay – heart mind and soul.
Stop waiting for something better. Because it is in the committing where we find better. deeper. eternal.