Ever feel like you've been stuck in one place for a really long time? That feeling of being all strapped in on a roller coaster but the ride operator won't press the button. Or buckled in on the plane waiting for takeoff and the pilot's still waiting on the ok from the tower. And you really feel like you could make things happen if someone would just put you in charge for five seconds.
You've done everything you can...you're ready...but nothing's happening.
And then that first sign of motion appears. The coaster clacks forward. The plane eases back from the gate. And you know.
It's happening! Finally!
And then a moment of realization as the plane lifts or the coaster climbs...
A sneaking suspicion that began as you were waiting becomes a clanging claxon as you finally move...
I'm really not in control.
I feel like I've been doing a lot of waiting for the better part of the last 10 years. I've been ready...buckled in...but nothing was moving and I didn't understand why. I’d tried everything I could think of and I just couldn’t seem to make it happen on my own. Turns out I didn’t have nearly as much control to affect outcomes as I thought. All I could do was wait.
Sports Night is one of my all-time favorite television shows...a late 90’s sitcom based on the behind-the-scenes of an ESPN-style sports news show. It features some of the best (in my opinion) of Aaron Sorkin’s prolific writing and an unbelievably talented cast. As the final season neared its end, the high drama centered on the uncertain fate of their show. They were being sold off as part of some corporate restructuring and no one knew what was going to happen.
In the final episode, the boss gathers her team together in an attempt to offer some hope and encouragement but realizes there’s none to give. They’ve done everything they know to do, yet things are completely out of their control. They’ve been purchased by a strange company called “Quo Vadimus” and it seems as if this is the end of the line. Struggling for the right words, she tells her employees,
Dana: "...I don't know what our future is anymore. I know there's things that I'm supposed to be saying to you right now, but I don't know. I don't even know... I don't even know what the hell Quo Vadimus means. Does anybody know what Quo Vadimus means?" Jeremy: "It means 'Where are we going?'" Dana: "Well, that's fine but... what?" Jeremy: "It's Latin, it means 'Where are we going'"
Where are we going?
That turns out to be the best and most helpful question they could have possibly asked. I won’t spoil the ending (although the show’s been out for about 20 years, so hurry up already), but it turns out that asking that question results in a much different ending to their story than any of them were expecting.
Because a third character knew the answer to that question. Someone they’d never met had a plan already in motion to give them a different ending than they could have ever anticipated.
Sounds like my life.
I've been asking that question of God for about 10 years in 3 major categories, and I’ve often
felt like I’m strapped in on the coaster or plane, have done everything I could possibly do to make this happen on my own...AND. WE’RE. NOT. MOVING.
I’ve lived the frustration and the pain of chasing dreams and not seeing them realized in spite of my best efforts and intentions.
...in my career
...in my desire to become a father
...in my desire to escape the suburbs and find a home with some land and some opportunities to test and develop skills that I crave to possess.
You know what?
After a decade of living in a “not what I thought this would be” townhouse, my wife and I just closed on the purchase of a house and are embarking on a long-awaited dream of renovating an old home on 5 acres of land.
After an agonizing seven years of trying to have children, we recently stepped into the
beginning of the process to adopt. There’s still so much road ahead, but the wheels are turning.
After five years of dreaming about having an impact in the lives of others outside of my nine-to-five as a high school teacher, Mike, Tom, and I get to launch Strong Towers and see where God takes it.
What’s funny is that none of these dreams are resolved. None of them are tied up in a bow with a “Happily Ever After” tag attached.
We’re still chasing.
We have no idea what’s ahead.
But you know what?