Tuesday, May 15, 2007

In a Holding Pattern

I haven’t flown much the past few years, but remember well a trip to Colorado when our plane, waiting to land, was in a holding pattern over the city. The anticipation of landing filled the cabin as passengers grew more and more anxious. Then I glanced across the aisle at a small child as he looked out of the airplane windows, amazed at the beauty and wonder of the mountains; with excitement pointing and talking a mile a minute to his mother. He was oblivious to the impatience of the other passengers.

I feel as if my life is in a similar “holding pattern”. I am hovering over my life, both past and present, taking stock and preparing to “land” at the appropriate moment. This is not a futile place to be, but actually a chance to evaluate my life, gain energy and outlook then proceed with more confidence and conviction.

While in this moment of waiting I have been reading Proverbs 2. It tells me that while I am in this place I can not just sit stifled. Here is the caveat if I am to be prepared for a “perfect landing”:

“IF you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and

IF you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and

IF you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure” (vs 1-4)

So what I am doing now is crying out for understanding and looking for it as I would something I value beyond anything else. What does that look like? I think it looks like that little boy in the airplane as he looked out onto the beauty below. He was content to take in the splendor while the other passengers restlessly waiting to land, missed the beauty of the journey. For me it means slowing down, getting my life in order and becoming contented with my circumstances. This simply takes time.

When will I know I am ready for the landing? I don’t have to wonder, there is a promise for searching diligently. Verse 5-10 lays it out clearly:

Then you will understand ..and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

While I am in this holding pattern I plan to enjoy the beauty of the journey, to take the time needed to accomplish it so that the landing is effortless and even enjoyable.

This I know for sure.


Shelly said...

I hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog. I got the connection from the YWBB.

Your analogy of being in a holding pattern is the exact analogy I came up with in talking to my grief counselor a few months ago. My dilemma is and was when to land a dream I have of getting my PhD. I feel like I have been circling the airport for quite a while but I can't gain the courage to land the plane. As I explored the analogy a little more it became evident to me that there are reasons for circling an airport (or being in a holding pattern) and circling a dream. For me, the timing just isn't right and I need to lighten my load a little before attempting the couragous landing it will require.

Great blog!

Marsha said...

I had never even thought of the fact that landing will take courage. I guess that is another step in the journey. It is within the holding pattern that we are able to determine whether we have the energy etc.. to land. Timing is a HUGE element to the process of moving on--and for this girl who has taken off and landed without much forethought most of her life, this is a new way of thinking for me.

Shelly said...

Thanks for linking my blog to yours. You have some wonderful posts...I look forward to making your site a regular stop in my daily trip through the blogging world.