The Difference Between First and Last

After several years of the same drive to and from work, my commute is essentially muscle memory. I know as soon as I exit the highway I’m almost in my own bed – just a few more turns and I get to go to sleep. The only problem is that sometimes the light right off the service road takes FOREVER. Or at least it seems like it…

A few months ago I was driving home late at night after a long day. As I pulled closer to the light, I could tell that my window of time to make my left turn was slim but if I gunned it, I could make it. To be honest, most of the time (if I know I can make it safely) I floor it. But in a split-second subconscious decision, instead of trying to squeeze in on the tail end of the cars ahead of me, I hit the brakes.

I waited. And waited. And then the light turned green.

As I hit the gas and started to turn, out of what seemed like nowhere, I heard God speak to me so clearly “Sometimes the difference between being first and last is waiting your turn.”

His voice snapped me out of my groggy state of mind and as only He can do, brought so much peace and revelation to my spirit.

Over the last 5 years there have been promises, dreams, ideas, and more that I felt like I was “coming last” in. It seemed like it was the time to move so I’d gun it, take action, take things into my own hands. And although sometimes they’d get done, or for the sake of my analogy, I made the turn before the light turned red – there was just something unsatisfactory about accomplishing something on the tail end.

There was anxiety. There was insecurity. There was doubt. But there was not that sense of accomplishment or peace that comes with following God’s will.

After many seasons and opportunities of jumping the gun on the will of God, I learned to chill out. Unfortunately this happened the hard way. There was pain when I had to let go of things I was holding too tightly. There was a jolt when I hit the brakes unexpectedly on projects or opportunities. But even in my learning the hard way, God’s grace was consistent. His love was continually towards me. He was the most patient teacher and the most faithful friend.

So in 2017 I learned to wait. Wait on God. Wait for my turn. Wait for the green light.

I realized that there is something waiting does that hard work and responsibility can’t do on their own.

And when the time came at that intersection for me to take off, I wasn’t a hurried last but an anticipatory first. I knew it was my turn. I knew I not only got to set the pace for me but for those behind me. And as God spoke those words to me, the purpose of the seasons I’d been walking through suddenly became so clear.

God loves me too much to let me put myself in last place when He’s called me to be a pace setter.

God loves me too much to let me make myself anxious when He knows He can offer me peace.

God loves me too much to let me exhaust my own strength when His is abundant.

As I waited this year, my green light came. I’ve never felt more certain that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know what comes next, and sometimes day to day I don’t entirely know what I’m doing. But I know that I’m unhindered in running after what God’s called me to do.

Although this was months ago now, I can’t stop thinking about it. When I’m praying through decisions or opportunities now, I wait for my green light.

As you step into 2018 – If you’re feeling like you’re in last place. If you’re franticly trying to get in on the wins of those going ahead of you. If you’re honestly not sure if you’re ever even going to make it to whatever God’s called you to or whatever that dream is in your heart… wait.

Wait, wait, and keep on waiting. It’s going to be worth it. And when the green light comes, floor it with all you’ve got.

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