“The Conversation”

Every morning we go through a sort of a ritual, my husband and I. He gets up, usually after I do. He sits on the edge of the bed, as if to fully wake himself up, and he usually sits there for a while. And he stares. At some point, when he’s ready, he will start getting dressed, which he does ever so slowly. He takes his time putting on all of his articles of clothing. And then there’s me – while it may take me a few minutes laying in bed to wake up, once I’m up, I’m going. I usually hit the ground running, and while I may not have a written list of items to accomplish for the day, you can be sure that the list is there in my mind. When I am at home my list may look like this: let the dogs out, feed the dogs, empty the dishwasher, turn on the tea kettle, make a cup of tea, give the dogs their medicine, fold clothes from the dryer, transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer, let the dogs out again, head into our office in our home, read emails that came in, read the daily Bible study assignment with the teaching lesson, and begin my reflection – all within a 15-30 minute timeframe. All that can be accomplished in the same amount of time that it takes my husband to wake up, get up, get dressed and come downstairs.

So, by the time that we sit down to breakfast I have a very good idea on how I want the rest of the day to go. Then starts a daily ritual – I call it “The Conversation.” It’s where I say something like “What’s on the agenda for today?” Or, I’ll ask “What are you going to do today?” Jim dislikes “The Conversation.” That’s because Jim is a person who tends to like to do the things that he needs to do on his own timetable. He’s not a person to be rushed. He does get each and every thing that he needs to do done. He’s not lazy that’s for sure. And, I have to admit that “The Conversation” frustrates both of us. But, I really need to have “The Conversation,” so that I can figure out when I will get all my items on my list accomplished. And, I can assure you that I very much want to check those items off of my list, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I want to set up the day, and Jim wants to go with the flow. I plow through my list so that by the time the evening comes around I can sit back and unwind from my day. My husband however is just really beginning to ramp up by the time I am slowing down. It’s not uncommon for him to start on his projects around 4 in the afternoon. And, once he gets going it can be hard to work things in like dinner at a reasonable hour. I’ve also learned not to even try to stay up to wait for him, because he often works on his projects until the wee hours of the morning.

So, it’s not be an understatement to say that my husband operates on a very different time table than I do. It’s one of the things that are very different about us. It sometimes has us butting heads. It’s something for which I realized even before I married him, that Jim’s concept of time and my concept of time are sometimes worlds apart. Sometimes I say something, sometimes I check myself before some kind of frustration about his timing on things comes out of my mouth, sometimes I sigh and shake my head, and sometimes I don’t let it bother me. But, it does frustrate me and I know it. And, I try hard not to let it frustrate me. Things would go ever so much more smoothly if we operated on my timetable, or would it?

We can spend our lives expecting everything to happen how we want to to happen, and precisely when we want them to happen. But, I think that both you and I know that’s not very realistic. The world does not revolve around me, or you for that matter. The sooner we recognize that fact, the better off we all are.

And for sure, God does not operate on my timetable. Sometimes God grants me a surprise when I least expect it, and I am rewarded with something that I thought might happen much further on in my lifetime. But, most other times God makes me wait. And wait. And wait. And wait some more. God usually takes His time, the right time, the time that He needs to move all the increments and fine details all into place so that He can bring me to a new place in my life. And God’s place is a much better place than I ever imagined. Through some long and very painful situations in my life, God brought me to where I am today. God orchestrated all the fine details and brought me to the place where I placed my life in His hands. And, then God delighted me with my husband, the love of my life. It’s one of the blessings that I cherish most, even when I am butting heads with Jim over “The Conversation.”

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end-it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3, ESV)

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” (John 13:7, ESV)

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