I spent time this morning on hold with a government entity. I needed to ask some questions about health care options for a family member. When I called in I was kindly told I had a 10 minute wait. 65 minutes and 35 seconds later, I had loaded the dishwasher, ordered contacts, added a news article link to the “Cancer News” page, started preparing thoughts to share at an upcoming conference, and still waited. Every few minutes a voice assured me, “You may encounter moments of silence while you wait,” and, “Your call is very important to us; someone will be with you shortly.”
Eventually I spoke with a helpful person. Who put me on hold again so he could research my problem further. I was so glad for his help that I said goodbye, only to find myself calling back 10 minutes later with another problem. I hung up after 20 more minutes on hold and will try another day.
Ever feel like you’re in a holding pattern? Raging waters ahead and an army of trouble tearing up ground fast behind? Patiently enduring the pause before you have to make a difficult decision? Or maybe you chafe against the silence. You need an answer and debate waiting or wading into the unknown. Maybe you are weighing strategies to cope with cancer. Silence and noise. Noisy silence.
And here is what Jesus said when worries rage and troubles abound and we’re tempted to get worked up about tomorrow:
“Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:26-34, The Message