Today was all about waiting.
Waiting is a lesson that I have to be taught daily, and patience is one thing that I never pray for. The last time I prayed for patience, my father bought me a puppy for my birthday…boy did I learn patience! I’ve learned that God never just grants us automatic patience like, “You want patience, BAM! behold, you have patience,” but instead gives us opportunities to be patient. It’s in those opportunities that we have to choose to be patient. Another example of God granting us free will.
The G train wasn’t running today (unpredictably without any warning, of course), so I had to take the long way to church. While I was transferring to the Q train, I found myself waiting on the subway platform for about ten minutes. An announcement came over the intercom saying something concerning the Q train. I had a small heart attack, worrying that I had been waiting for a train that wasn’t going to get me where I needed to go. I ran up the steps to go out onto the street and find a bus or something, but then I stopped.
Hunter, go back and wait on the platform.
But I’m going to be late!
You’re already late. Go wait on the platform.
I looked at my iPod. Yep, I was already late. Warily I walked back and waited on the platform. Surely enough, five minutes later the Q train arrived and took me to Parkside Avenue, the place I needed to go.
When I arrived at church, Sunday school had already started. There were a bunch of missionaries present at the church so the College and Career and the adult classes were combined, having one of the missionaries speak as the teacher. So (and nobody freak out) I have a thing for one of the guys at church, and my deal is that he has to pursue me, not the other way around, which may seem old fashioned to some but hey, it’s just one of those things. I didn’t want to talk to God about it, mostly because I didn’t think it was important enough to pray for. Also, I really just wanted to forget about the guy and not even like him, but I’m a girl and I have emotions, so I just have to deal with it. Eventually, while I was sitting in the pew, listening to the speaker, I got over myself and asked God for, if it was His will, the guy to talk to me. It couldn’t be me going up and talking to him, it had to be him going out of his way to come talk to me. This whole thing just seems backwards now that I type it out. I mean, if you like someone, aren’t you supposed to pursue them and let them know you like them? Well, I guess that would make sense….but I don’t normally do things that make sense, hence the whole pulling all-nighters so I get a good sleep the following night, and making difficult and important decisions at one in the morning under the pressures of exhaustion and stress….yeah.
So I forgot about the prayer until the break between services. Out on the lawn were over fifty dishes filled with foods from all different countries. I tried all new foods. I tried everything from Caribbean to Canadian. My favorite food was actually a drink that one of my friends made. It was a Korean tea composed of cinnamon, ginger, pine nuts, and some exotic fruit that, when I asked her what country it was from, she replied, “Asian.”
While I was standing and talking to her, THE guy came over and started talking to me. Yep. The thing happened. Thankfully I didn’t totally embarrass myself…I mean, I’m still me, and there’s only so much I can do to keep myself from being socially awkward. Then, when we were cleaning up and a bunch of the “men” were rounded up to bring in the tables, I stood in the doorway to the church holding one of their jackets. THEN, while me and some of my friends were talking, THE guy came and joined the conversation, talking to me for the second time.
I’m not going to get my hopes up or freak out because that would be emotionally immature and ridiculous, after all, it’s only two three minute conversations…but it was nice :). So, even though it seemed trivial and unimportant to me, God still cared about it. He still wanted to show me that He was listening, that He listens regularly. Despite how pathetic a crush may be, God still cares about it. Every year my high school has a banquet (it’s sort of like a prom, but without the dancing). I took my sister shopping for dresses and we both found dresses that fit us well, were modest, and pretty, but they were too expensive for me to buy. When we came back home, I had been thinking about praying for the dresses, but decided they were just too unimportant, too small for God to bother with. Regardless of my feelings, I let out a mental sigh and asked Him, if it was His will, that He somehow provide the dresses. I had them put on hold for about a week, but once the week was up, they would go back on the rack. Well, the day that the hold expired, I was doing laundry with my mom in the dining room. My father suddenly came in through the door holding the dresses in his hands. God cared.
The afternoon service was phenomenal. Dr. B. Clayton Shumpert was the missionary speaking. He was an elderly, old-fashioned, simplistic, southern Baptist to the core, and he made everyone comfortable with his words. He spoke on lukewarm Christianity; he used stories and examples from his long life to make us laugh and to make us cry; he let tears fill his eyes and the Holy Spirit fill his mouth; every word he said was encouraging, solid, and true. God was shown as the Greatest Composer through this man, and this man was one heck of an instrument.
On the way back to my dorm I had to wait for the train again and for numerous other little things. I had to endure one drunken man on the subway who found enjoyment out of making sexual remarks and kissing noises at the women around him. I wanted to stand up and say something, but I didn’t think it would be wise. As I walked from the subway station, I realized what a nice neighborhood I live in. While I may still be a little paranoid, I’m not ignorant enough to dismiss the innocence and homeliness that exists around me. Kids were playing with a softball; dogs were rolling on the sidewalk; couples were laughing and eating spaghetti on tables set up outside Lady and the Tramp restaurants. If there had been an Italian man playing an accordion then everything would’ve been perfect 😀
When I came into my dorm I was reminded of the midterm I have tomorrow. Midterms are gross…in fact, tests are gross. But they’re necessary. I like studying and knowing information, but I always spend at least a quarter of the test time just blanking out on information that I should know like I know the walk to Connecticut Muffin. I studied half of my material yesterday, knowing that cramming just wasn’t going to work for me; I needed to take the information in a little bit at a time. The quote, “No one’s an atheist during finals week” keeps running through my head, and I wonder if it’s true. I mean, I know that I’ll be praying my heart out and studying my brains equally as much during finals week, so I have to wonder if anyone else will be doing the same.
Midterm tomorrow, projects due Tuesday, loads of homework, and God by my side…
Looks like a good week to me 🙂
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” —Matthew 7:7,8 (ESV)