Many of us have sat in the audience waiting for the curtain to open. What we may not realise is that behind the hanging tapestry or velvet barrier a hive of activity is taking place. It’s the preparation for the performance to begin that sees make-up artists applying the final powder and eye lines, orchestra pits full of musicians checking they have the score in the right order and the stage manager knocking on the door of the lead actors yelling “Five minutes to curtain”.
Right now I’m having to remind myself which side of the curtain my life is on. I’m not in the audience balancing a popcorn and coke, I’m backstage waiting in the wings for the curtain to open. I know that years have been put into the rehearsal and that the writer of this script has seen it from beginning to end but when will this chapter begin.
So this is a cathartic journey asking God what he wants from me and trying to still put my little hairy hobbit feet one in front of the other. I know that I’m in God’s ‘company’ and that provides the fellowship and encouragement one needs. A hobbit should never travel alone whether it be with a company of dwarves or a fellowship of hobbits, elves and men.
I’m currently ‘between performances’. Doesn’t that sound cute when I could simply say “I’m Waiting”? What I’m saying is that one door of my life seems to be closing but the next door hasn’t opened yet. I’m asking ‘what next’ and also trying to improve my strength, skills and stamina so that when the curtain does open I’m ready. After all who wants to be caught on stage with a forgotten line or worse with their ‘fly’ down. I sense that God is firmly at work making sure that the stage is set and that all is in working order before the curtain rises.
I’m encouraged that along any journey two rewards seem close to the journeyman. The first is the sense of a new dawn. As you imagine a young traveller waking from a tired slumber it happens as the dawn rays glisten through deep dew-ridden grass to gently rouse the sleeper. As the cool of the ground gives way to the warmth of the radiant beams a sense of expectation soaks into the heart. A desire awakens me to see new lands, and fresh relationships and to embrace what was once foreign as family. It refreshes the eyes, increases the heartbeat and becomes a diet of excitement devoured over breakfast.
The second reward for our travellers is their growth in stature. Many a young tourist has started out with trepid feet and lowered gaze. The eighteen-year-old on the gap year excursion very quickly realises that Mum won’t be in their suitcase to be the alarm for a train schedule or the washing machine for a clean pair of underwear. We quickly move through levels of independence lifting our gaze and increasing our gate as we walk forward more confidently. As the muscles are stretched we grow upwards and inwards. Our mind finds solutions, our body conquers crags and crevices and our heart learns to stay on the charted course when fatigue and passions both seek to sway our resolve with distractions.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
It’s in these moments when we rest at a pinnacle’s view that we realise we are more than we once were. The journey our creator has taken us on has taken a cutting of possibility and produced a life of productivity. I have always enjoyed the sense that God hasn’t finished with me yet. Like the tourist who becomes an adventurer, we leave much behind on the path of destiny. There will always be the superfluous dross of fat removed through hard work and toil but there is also the cutting away of things we once thought of as wisdom now seen as arrogance. The traveller who is ten days into a mission or is now packing for the umpteenth departure will pack more tightly, stringently and with rigorous intent. Why carry the consumer’s weight of a selfish past? Why move the problems of arguments forgotten to the residence of a future peace?
So I’m waiting, not with fear and foreboding but instead with hope and a sense of anticipation. The senses of my heart are open to hearing, feel and see the signs that the stage manager’s hands are on the curtain rope. A gentle tug, a changing of the lights and a quiet comes over the audience. The best curtain opening of all is at the break of dawn when a new day opens on fresh mercy and grand potential.
Like this song Before the Morning from Josh Wilson; I DARE TO BELIEVE!
Can you leave me a comment below and tell me about the times in your journey when you learned through waiting.