One of the things I realized about myself during my vacation this summer was that I had unknowingly put myself in a season of getting things done. A former co-worker defined this as my “go-mode.” I fall into go-mode when things either need or can get done efficiently, but when it happens I can lose a little bit of my humanity along the way. I especially saw my conversations with God (called a “prayer life”) dwindle quite a bit because the fact is conversation/prayer and slowness go hand-in-hand. By “slowness” I don’t mean moving at the pace of a turtle. I mean paying attention when my gut and my body tell me that I’m rushing. I mean being purposeful rather than pushy. I mean moving at a steady pace which allows me to breathe rather than trying to sustain a sprint. So I now return to the work God has given me trying go slow, and trying to be much more conversational with my Heavenly Father.
Here’s a great way to look at it from the great pen of Eugene Peterson:
“Waiting means that there is another whom I trust and from who I receive. My will, important and essential as it is, finds a will that is more important, more essential. While waiting, I discover that there is more reality outside me than inside me, and I take up a position to respond to it. I begin to pray by attempting to manipulate the will of God; I end by putting myself in a position to be moved by his will.
There is a kind of waiting that has nothing to do with prayer; opportunistic waiting – a predatory, disciplined holding back until everything is right for me to pounce. This is the waiting of a cat stalking a bird or of a person cannily watching for the opening thrust, the telling word. That is not prayer-waiting.
In prayer we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place and when my heart is prepared, he will call me into the action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts.” – – Earth & Altar