Thursday, April 23, 2009

Halted at The Gate

Tuesday my friend, Micheline and I made plans to celebrate her birthday. We decided to make a day of it – lunch, a walk along the river and maybe some shopping. In our telephone conversation, Micheline mentioned that the place we were going for lunch could get quite busy so why didn’t we meet early, like 11:15 . I readily agreed, “That will be fine. I’m going to the clubhouse for our weekly morning coffee time, but I’ll slip out at 11:15 and meet you at the gate!”
We’ve met there before - the gate is just down from the clubhouse and Micheline can just pick my up on her way.

At 11:14 I slip out of the clubhouse and walk down to the agreed upon spot.
She’s nowhere in sight .. so I wait… and wait… and wait.. The time passes . Its not like her to be late.. but unexpected things do happen – so I continue to wait. Why does time seem so long when you are just standing, waiting ??
Finally, after a good half hour, I decide there must have been some emergency and I walk back up through the complex to my house.
I just walk in the door to my husband’s surprised, “what happened ??” when the phone rings. Its Micheline. She says, “Did you forget?”
I reply “NO ! I’ve been standing at the gate waiting for a half hour!”
She says… “OH NO ! I thought you meant MY gate..I thought you were coming to my back yard gate, and we’d just go together - I’ve been waiting for YOU !! I couldn’t think what could have happened!”
I never considered that she might think ‘her gate’ … she never considered that I meant ‘my gate’ ! And so we both stood waiting – while our day’s plans were on hold – ‘halted’.

Later, thinking about the lack of communication and our two gates - I thought of a verse in 1Ki ngs 18:21 that says….. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long will you halt between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

Suddenly, the familiar verse took on a very literal meaning !
Wavering or hesitating, as the newer versions translate the KJV 'halt', between two opinions paralyzes us. We are ‘halted’ from pursuing the highest and the best…. We are missing out !!

How does this look in practical terms ??

Has someone wronged you? betrayed you? stabbed you in the back? Are you angry and nursing a grudge?
As long as we are ‘halted’ between forgiving or not forgiving … God cannot forgive us….and our prayers are hindered. (Mark 11:25)

Is there something that you know you should do, but you have just been putting it off? Who of us has not been guilty of this? Look what it says in Jas 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Halted between doing good and not doing it… what blessing are we keeping ourselves from receiving ?

Are you caught with one foot in the world and one in God’s kingdom? Torn between the world’s standards and God’s ? Desiring the things this world has to offer ? Trying to find a 'compromise' ?
You are ‘halted’ … from growing … from becoming all that God has planned for you to be. (Matt. 6:33)

I have been thinking about how often I balance two opinions or attitudes or choices … and considering the fact that hesitating between the two can actually ‘halt’ me in my faith walk has given me a new perspective that I know will motivate me not to stand ‘waiting’ at the wrong gate.


Marg said...

And I waited for you at the 101.
And then I looked for your # and could not find it....
I'll continue on with out haste as I search for you! Regardless of who's time clock we're on.

Betty said...

I felt that was for many years of my life. Living in Paraguay and "waiting" to move back to Canada, not being able to enjoy my life here. It is only in the last years that I have realized that I was doing this and it´s hard to accept. It feels like I should live my life again and this time being aware of all the beautiful moments that God gave me with my family.
Thank you for this post! It made so much sense to me!