One of my all-time favorite movies is The Princess Bride. There are so many great lines from that film, but the ones are resonating with me this week were spoken by Inigo Montoya, as he not-so-patiently waits for the Man In Black to climb the Cliffs of Insanity, so that he can kill him.
"Whoever you are, you know...when you reach the top, I'm only going to kill you..." Inigo yells over the cliff.
"Well, that does put a damper on our relationship..." replies the Man In Black, clinging to the side of the cliff.
"I don't suppose you could a-hurry things along?" asks Inigo.
"I don't suppose you could throw down a rope or something? That might speed things up a bit."
Inigo sighs, paces, and mutters, "I hate waiting."
Like Inigo, I hate waiting. I think we all do. We live in an instant society; microwave meals in minutes, instant internet access, and 4G (whatever that is). We don't like to be kept waiting.
So when God called me to open The Oasis Renewal Center, I admit, I had the expectation that things would just roll right along. And for a little while, they did! David and I prayed hard and worked hard; we got our business plan written, went scouting for locations, published marketing materials, gathered a Board of Stewards, sent in our 501(c)3 application, arranged support and financing, found the perfect property, and made an offer (which was accepted!)....and then suddenly we found ourselves in a place where we had to wait.
"I hate waiting."
That phrase has been stuck in my head - in Inigo's Spanish accent - for two weeks now.
Please understand, I am generally not an unrealistic dreamer, or a Pollyanna. I have spent a lot of time studying theology and the Bible, so I know that God's timing and my timing aren't always going to be in sync. "With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day..."(2 Peter 3:8) I get that. And yet...
"I hate waiting."
This brings me to another scene from The Princess Bride. Westley and Princess Buttercup are finally reunited 5 years after she has been told that Westley was kidnapped and probably killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts who never leaves survivors. It is the day after Buttercup agreed to marry Prince Humperdink. The Man in Black has revealed himself to be Westley - very much alive.
"Why didn't you wait for me?" asks Westley.
"Well..." replies Buttercup, "You were dead."
"Death cannot stop true love," replies Westley, "True love is worth waiting for."
So, even if I hate waiting, I can learn something during this time. I can keep myself busy, I can concentrate on what's really important in life, and I can discern what God has in store for our next step. Because, as Westley points out, it is worth waiting for.