You know that song “Tomorrow” from Annie? “I love ya, tomorrow, you’re always a day away?”
I’m sure it’s supposed to be uplifting, the idea that the sun will come out tomorrow, but what if it doesn’t? What if it’s the same thing all over again? What if it’s still a day away tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that?
What do you do until the sun comes?
It’s not particularly easy to admit when you’re struggling, but boy howdy, I have been. For longer than I care to admit. Physically, mentally, spiritually fighting something I can’t seem to shake. It’s one thing to think about being David facing Goliath when you know how the story turned out…when you know what can happen with a slingshot and a few stones. But when you’re actually in the fight yourself, scouring the riverbank for rocks, it’s hard to feel big enough.
Especially when you don’t even feel … enough.
Not so long ago, I was faced with the opportunity to obtain something I’d only dared to imagine. A blatantly open door right in front of me. I’ve been around Christian circles long enough to have heard that phrase used hundreds of times—the idea that God will open a door. When it comes in the form of a gift handed to you, it seems even more right. If you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, of course He would choose to take you off the difficult path and open the door. Save a lot of time and headache.
The problem was, halfway down the road to that open door, I knew I was going the wrong way.
It’s easy to brush off your feelings when they don’t make a lick of rational sense. The flaws in the people around me were magnified to the point that I started blaming them for my concerns. Then I justified not turning around because I’d given my word, and I wasn’t a quitter.
In the end, the promised thing happened.
The good thing happened.
I can’t even tell you what the good thing was, because no one would complain about that. Are you crazy? How could that ever be anything but good? Do you know how many people wish they had that? Trust me, I’ve thought all those things myself and then some. But because of the good thing, my spirit was wounded. My creativity suffered. I fostered a mindset of cynicism and landed in a dry season. An extended, lonely, inescapable dry season … all because I took a shortcut.
Now I’m back in the creek bed, still looking for rocks and wondering if I’ll ever take down that giant.
David had a purpose past defeating Goliath. King of a nation. A laughable purpose for a boy who smelled like sheep. A boy who was deemed so insignificant, his father didn’t even present him the first time the prophet asked for his sons. A purpose that would take a long, long time to fulfill. One that would lead down all kinds of paths he hadn’t planned to take. His wait couldn’t have been easy.
Going about the day to day when you know your purpose can feel brutal. It’s hard in the wait. It’s hard in the silence. But there’s an unexpected consequence of having this writing gig. Words that came from your heart don’t disappear. And sometimes, when you least expect it, and you’re months and months into the wait, this pops up on your screen:
I’m not sure how many day-away tomorrows are still in my slingshot. Days? Months? Other words I can’t bring myself to type? But I do know one thing: Anything truly good is worth the wait, no matter how long. And when I finally get there, maybe I’ll need the very thing I found during the long, lonely dry season between the mountaintops.
From the in between,