The waiting areas in airports. The in between space of starting a journey and arriving at the destination. The part that I often associate with getting stiff, bored, needing a book or a distraction, with starting to think about what will happen when I get there.
In my immediate family of my guy and I, we are in a waiting space for a specific outcome, the timelines of which are totally out of our hands.
In my extended family, we are waiting for answers to prayer, for relocations, for hopes to be fulfilled.
In my friendship circle, we are waiting for new life to be born, for friends and their life partners to discover each other. For visas, for work permits, for jobs, for change.
In my country, we are waiting for changes long hoped for to be seen, for healing, for people to be allowed to dream again.
Rather than being surrounded by final destinations, I feel like I am surrounded by in transit processes.
Then I am reminded of journeys taken in the past – the ones in which I embraced the transit part as opposed to those in which I wanted to keep asking ‘are we there yet’? Regardless of how much I asked, I couldn’t make things happen faster.
The journey that was an overnight flight and looking after my co-traveller’s 6 month old baby so that she could stretch, go to the loo and have an uninterrupted nap actually was one of my favourites.
The journey through to Mozambique on the back of an open, uncovered bakkie (in an unseasonal hailstorm) with a lifelong friend making memories for a lifetime, which was then followed by a bus trip in Mozambique (in which the bus broke down), followed by an unplanned plane trip to Swaziland (we got a lift in a plane – yes, you read that right!) followed by a mini bus taxi trip home to South Africa from Swaziland, squished into the back corner.
The journey of moving back to Cape Town which involved a road trip down to KZN, along the Wild Coast, the Garden Route with my guy.
In all of these experiences, which were in transit, there was frustration at points, anger, and an unwavering hope that this was a part of the story, a getting to know my inner and outer world better. The only way in which this happened was through a sense of surrender to something more than me and my plans and thinking of what would make things perfect.
On Friday morning, at the end of a commitment rather than motivation based run, I was reminded that I can make plans, but God determines the steps (Proverbs 16:9). I can do all I can, but I can’t control uncontrollable variables, like understanding, or misunderstanding, or timelines that aren’t mine to set, or always know exactly what direction the steps are going to take. So, the run abruptly stopped, and I remembered:
It’s about SURRENDER.
Surrender to the fact that actually the journey along the way is a part of the story.
Surrender to the fact that in my one specific context, I am choosing to trust God.
Surrender to knowing that regardless of my plans, there is a bigger picture with steps in it – sometimes steps of character, or relationship, or a picture that I wouldn’t have thought to paint myself.