Where the “once was” and “not yet” crash into one another is called “the present” and the present in my life seems to be characterized by an interminable waiting—the interface where God’s plan and my particular pathology happen to meet.
Many years ago my then-wife gave me a poster with three baby raccoons peering out of a hole in a tree trunk, and the caption read: “There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen; and there are those who wonder WHAT happened.” Clearly, I was one of the latter two.
My one and only 9-year marriage ended in late-October, 1986, and it was officially, legally declared kaput five months later at the end of March, 1987. And since then I’ve been waiting. There were many things I liked about being married, especially given my basic codependent nature, and I figured I would do better the second time around—make a better choice. But I think God knew that I wasn’t any wiser, not any better judge, and that I was completely unqualified to pick another mate. Clearly, given the chance, I would make the same mistake again and again. And so I’ve been waiting. Over the years I’ve dated some ladies that reflect my poor judgement and when I look back on some of these trolls I wonder, “What was I thinking?”
Well, I wasn’t thinking. I was just feeling desperate from loneliness and the interminable waiting. I had this scenario in my noggin, this life-script, in the parlance of TA, that I would meet Miss Right and that magic would happen. I think many Americans have this same script and more often that not it is our downfall. I think Hollywood has scripted the way we think about marriage and relationships, but what sells theater tickets is not reality.
But I’d been conditioned to magic happening to those who wait. I was pretty sure that God had arranged my wife and I meeting. He made it happen once, and so why not again? Was it God’s supernatural magic, or was it something else? There is that scripture that says: “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”
When I met my wife I was 29 and when we finally got together I was 34. Those who know the whole story of our meeting and courtship have said that it was magical and that it would make a good book. I agree. During those five years there were three years where we had completely lost touch. I had no phone number and no idea where she was living, save that it was likely on some rural acreage about 25 or 30 miles away in the boondocks of Cental Florida’s swamps and pine forests. But I couldn’t get her out of my thoughts and kept believing that our paths would cross again. And they did.
The subtitle of my book “DiosPsyTrek” is “But God had a Better Idea” It’s a collection of essays about my life and the lives of friends and relatives that I published in 2008. This was before I discovered blogging. I’d written these pieces and didn’t know what to do with them, and so I put them together in a collection and self-published it—sort of a biographical selfie and very likely as narcissistic. The book’s theme is what I call the divine economy—how the Lord worked in my life, the life of a generally uncooperative subject. This loose autobiography has not exactly been a roaring success. Between the few I’ve sold and given away I think there are about 25 copies in circulation. But anyway, some of the writing I’m rather proud of and the book’s creation brought me considerable satisfaction. However, what I left out of that book is the story about my marriage—and the interminable waiting since then.
Quite recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that what God has me waiting for is not for Miss Right to show up in my life, but more likely, for me to grow up. Solving my codependency problem is likely not a prominent blip on God’s radar screen. I suspect there is another “better idea” involved here. Yeah, I know Moses spent 40 yrs in the wilderness of Midian, and Noah took an estimated 20-120 yrs to build the Ark, and I’m sure God had a purpose in their interminable waiting. There must have been a lot of days of ark building and sheep herding that seemed absolutely pointless to Noah and Moses. I’m sure Moses didn’t wake up every morning and say, “Hey, it looks like a brilliant day to herd sheep for my father-in-law.”
Purposeful waiting: They also wait who only stand and serve.