At the Starting Gate: But Not Starting

You may have seen my posts about transitions and how they have an ending, a waiting, and a beginning. I got the idea from the book Managing Transitions by William and Susan Bridges. It’s a good book and the concepts are solid, I need to soak them in. But, I do not wait very well. I admit it. Even a recent blog captures my confession: “I had become so comfortable doing things, I found it uncomfortable to stop or to rest”. As with any good growing experience, there are lessons to be learned and applied. I feel like I am ready to get started on my next steps, but there are still things I need to close from my last chapter of life; I need to embrace the waiting. So I am doing my best to stop, return to the principles presented, and apply the lessons of the waiting period.

In the Meantime: The Practice of Proactive Waiting is another book I go to often. It’s written by a fellow self-confessing poor waiter, Rob Brendle. This book reveals some of his stories of manhandling his waiting period, forgetting a plan to wait, and over-spiritualizing his wait. His example of embracing the wait comes from David, a shepherd boy who receives the anointing to become king but is forced to wait for God’s perfect timing to step into the role. David has to fight through discouragement from the existing king, his family’s pecking order, and the enemies of his people. But, each lesson refines David’s ability to lead and matures his kingly character. Brendle calls it becoming the king before putting on the crown.

As I write this, some incredible offers have come come my way. They get me thinking about where I might be headed next. I am so excited because each one is based on who I am created to be, rather than just something I can do. Each opportunity speaks to the creativity that God has designed in me and utilizes skills and abilities I’ve gained through life. I am so ready to begin. I feel like a pumpkin ready to be picked or a race horse who is approaching the starting gate; electric anticipation.

 

 

But there is this lesson of waiting ringing in my head. It’s not quite time yet; let the fruit ripen before you pick it. There may be good opportunities show up in your waiting; it may not be quite time to engage with them. Each of the stakeholders I am conversing with used the words, ‘pursuing the steps toward partnership’; as if they get the idea of waiting. We are not ready to start out, but we are taking steps to ensure we are all on the same page, ready to move in the same direction, prepared to move together.

 

Just like the race horse at the gate, there are other elements in play. The jockey needs to be saddled in. The race officials need to be watching. The track needs to be clear. I am ready to go, but I am waiting for the starter’s signal. It could be dangerous to start before everything is ready.

How about you; have you ever jumped out before the start? Have you pressed against the starting gate? How have you learned to wait? What is your story of when you waited well? Is there a lesson that taught you to wait well? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Photos:

  1. Bob Field. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213985566301045&set=pb.1467086168.-2207520000.1523277565.&type=3&theater
  2. The_Knight_Sky_Racing Blog. https://theknightskyracing.wordpress.com/tag/starting-gate/

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