Posts Tagged ‘patience’

A watched pot never boils.

This phrase always frustrates me, mainly because I’m quite an impatient person. When it comes to cooking, I  I get very frustrated when I’m staring at that pot waiting for the water to boil…because I just appreciate instant gratification, to be honest! I’ve learned to just give up and walk away in defeat. This, of course, can relate directly to that whole being patient while waiting for “that person” to show up.

Obviously, trusting God with each area of our lives is so important and helps us to shape our perspectives on life. Having faith in the Lord in this particular area has always been difficult for me, because I do care so much about it. That being said, one of my least favorite phrases is that which states, “When you’re least looking, he/she will just show up!” Basically, I think this is crap.

To start with, I truly believe that none of us get to that point where, as single adults looking to get married, we “stop looking” for a meaningful relationship. If you are not interested in marrying or have the gift of celibacy – which I will focus on in my follow up post – then that’s a different story. But for those who desire marriage and want to pursue it, surveying the scene, as it were, is one of those things that just happens. At my church, dozens of single young adults meet each week and have a mingle sesh after Bible study groups finish. Although I am an extrovert and love meeting new people, this part of the night is one of the most stress inducing for me. The entire time, I find myself trying not to bite my fingernails or anxiously pull at my hair as I watch the scene of mingling and flirting unfold before me, all while I stand there probably looking ridiculous. I feel crippled, despite my desire to make people feel welcomed and appreciated. The truth is, I do secretly hope each time that maybe someone will approach me, or I’ll get into a conversation that just seems to tie me together with some poor unsuspecting brother. It’s even worse when I’m actually interested in someone – poor sod! No matter how much I enjoy spending time with the women in my small group (and I do, immensely – they’re basically my surrogate sisters), no matter how encouraged and excited I feel about the Lord, I enter said mingle sesh with anxiety and hope. I’m by no means “not looking” – and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

I think the main thing that I’m trying to express, albeit very imperfectly, is that when people tell you that you just have “to not look and it will just happen!”, it smacks of condescension that is beyond aggravating. Additionally, it is usually the case that the people telling you this are the married ones! Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go around admitting how much we actually are “looking” for other people (although that might be somewhat freeing). I do think it is important that I learn to be content in all circumstances through Jesus Christ, and He has called us to nothing less than that. The thing is, that’s not the same as feeling like I have to get to this strange state of “I’m not looking” so that I can actually meet someone and it will be all great. That is unhelpful, inconsiderate and in many ways dangerous advice to Christian singles. What it really comes down to is that there is a lie in this statement that suggests that we have to act or be a certain way before the Lord blesses us with something that is meant to further our holiness. Dangerous, dangerous.

Obviously, the stories of “I wasn’t even looking and he just showed up!” do exist. I think that for most of them it’s certainly not the whole story, and I actually want to suggest that this is just a disclaimer, promoted to ensure that the person does not get exposed to accusations of “desperate!” or even worse in the Church, “not content with God alone!” The truth is, Jesus gives us people to fulfill needs, desires, and relationship with. It is okay to want them, people. Perhaps if we start being more open about the fact that we’re “looking”, we might find our way to other people who are freed by the possibilities that this opens up.


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