We used to wait

This blog has taken a long time to write, but now, I think I finally get what I want to say. So, here goes.

Recently, I bought the latest Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs. It’s a really good album, one of the best by a band that if you don’t already know, you should probably check out, as they are really very talented.

It was their single’s video, however, that first got my attention and subsequently held it. Or rather, I should say “the interactive film featuring We Used To Wait.” The website here shows a beautiful and strange experiment that I thoroughly enjoyed and I suggest you see it before reading on. At least a listen to the song would be nice.

I really love the lyrics of this song. The refrain “now are lives are changing fast, hope that something pure will last” really reflects my feelings on life at this present time. I am becoming very busy and things are a bit up in the air. I’m feeling very tested and frayed at the edges, but as part of being refined, it’s all fine by me.

It is, however, the title that has been bugging me, as it stuck on me as something significant. I felt it resonate with me, but the reasoning eluded me for quite a long while.

I therefore took it upon myself to weigh it up with what little I know of the Bible. I will now sum up my conclusions, but please, if you have any evidence to add, whether it be for or against what I am saying, then please comment below and correct me.

There are numerous references to the virtue of being patient in the Bible and it is always a positively regarded thing. I searched for a reference where it said something along the lines of “do not wait for other people to do good but do it yourself”, similar to the quote “all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” I found nothing like this, however, and have had to conclude to patience being a good thing regardless.

One thing I noticed in my searching was the phrase wait for the Lord. This almost made me give up on finding why I felt so uplifted about the idea of putting the days of waiting behind me and marking it off as being simply my flesh screaming out.

I did also spot, however, that at times, this was changed to wait on the Lord. It was this that led to my realisation of how big a difference there is in these two things.

Imagine a restaurant. The customer comes in and sits down. They wait for their order to be taken and then wait for it to arrive. They just come in, take something and leave. The diner has a wonderful time, but that is all. It won’t affect their life outside particularly and will only cost them as much as the meal.

Now consider the waiter. This person waits on the clients. It’s a completely different role.

Think about it. The waiter is constantly looking out for customers to help. He will move on the inclination that they want to order, not waiting for their demands to be definite. His urgency is to please them; their desires become his concern. If the table wants an entertaining evening, it’s his job to make them have a memorable night. If they want a quiet date, the waiter will be as unobtrusive as possible.

This is the revelation that I have got out of this song. Too many Christians, myself included, come to church at times wanting to be fed. They come for a gorgeous meal and because God is love, being in his presence is always going to be a good time. What is God’s desire for us, however, is that we wait on Him. The waiter in the example above does not need to know the customers well to understand how to serve them. The same is true for God. You know the basics and what his heart is for and against, so you can act on these things.

In conclusion, what I have realised on hearing this song is that I want to stop being a child who used to wait for God to do things for me, but instead become a man who waits on Him. This is not being impatient, as I will have to be patient for my time to come. I will also still have to wait for the clear directives we sometimes need and for answers to prayer, but not for direction. I have enough information for that.

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2 thoughts on “We used to wait

  1. Pingback: The power of words « A space to breathe

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