Yesterday, I considered the life of St. John the Baptist. It was a life primarily lived in the solitude of the desert. I continue to ponder the fact that it is the normative practice of God to prepare people for a long period of time in order to use them for a relatively short period of time.
Take the life of our Lord for an example. Here is the very Son of God who is perfect and sinless. What does He need to learn? Yet, it is the will of the Father that He be hidden for 30 years and then minister for only 3. We see a similar pattern in St. Paul. He has been highly educated, a philosophical and theological marvel. Yet, God hides him for a period of time before setting him loose to set the world ablaze with the Gospel.
In my own circumstances, I am finding myself in the waiting process. I don't know that I will ever make a grand impact in any capacity. But I know I hope to fulfill what I believe is the call of God in my heart. Yet, I am waiting. I am not in the place or circumstance that I desire. I am not doing the thing that I feel called to do. But this is where God has me now. What will I do with that?
To this point, I have spent a good deal of time grumbling and complaining. The remainder of the time I am dreaming and planning for what might be in the future. But that's really quite foolish. I don't know what God will do with me in the future. But I do know what He wants now. He wants me to learn to patiently and consistently carry a cross. He wants me to be a man of prayer. He wants me to be a husband and a father. He wants me to settle down and fully live in the now rather than be caught up in the dreams of the future.
I hope that as I continue to reflect on John, Paul, and our Lord, that I will be content to let God be God and simply follow in obedience rather than try to coerce God into letting me write the script. I find myself in a desert place right now. And that's a really good place to be!