Always on time

Published 10:11 pm Friday, May 4, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Spring, you finally got here! It sure took you long enough. We have been waiting for the change to come. I am sure I am not the only one who is happy to see the warm weather arrive.

What were you doing while you were waiting on spring? Did you start working in your garden yet, or did the absence of spring temperature keep you from doing “spring-like” things? It is interesting that when we are waiting for change, we sometimes give ourselves excuses to do nothing. I think we need a new perspective on what it means “to wait.”

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The Suffolk military community will appreciate this short lesson. Allow me to flash back to my service days, when I would get the call to report to the commanding officer. In most cases, I would arrive at the commanding officer’s door only to find that he was already speaking with another crewmember. In that case, I was informed to “stand by” which in layman’s terms means to wait.

Now, junior crewmen did not just sit outside the doorway or pace back and forth in the hallway. No, sir. “Stand by” is a preparatory command. This means that you will receive your “orders” soon. Therefore, your position outside his door also alerts passers-by that you are waiting on the commanding officer and only the commanding officer. You are not open for conversation with just anyone. When you go to see “the captain,” you are wearing a clean working uniform, changed into your inspection-ready shoes and tamed those fly-aways on your head. Your position, outside the door, informs everyone whom you intend to see. There is preparation involved when waiting to see the commanding officer.

Waiting requires work ahead.

Have you ever prayed for something and just thought you would sit and wait until you see it? I rarely imagine a look of frustration on God’s face during my prayer time. But I do believe that sometimes our Heavenly Father is exhausted with our stance of waiting.

We act as though our petitions need travel time. Does prayer need postage? Can we make our requests known, put the stamp on it and send it on its way and expect a return to sender? That is not how it works. God is present. He is present as you are making your request known to Him. When God is listening, He is answering. God does not use deadlines, because He does not need them. He is always punctual. He is always on time. He is the most time-conscience employer there is, because He owns time. Therefore, how do we dare fix our mouths to say, “I’m waiting for an answer from God” or “I’m praying for my change to come”? God is “on duty” and He is the “on-scene” leader at all times. The response you seek is already present.
God may be looking at you a bit miffed, still loving you but a bit concerned that you have not quite gotten the message yet. You are not waiting for an answer. You are not even in the commanding officer’s hallway yet. You have to be in the position to hear Him call you to enter.

God is not your hold-up. God is present. In your waiting, you are not standing still. There is work required for what you are asking. When we come to God with the expectancy and having made the preparations, He has the answer. He loves to be received with expectation. He has the answer. In order to live productive lives, we cannot live in waiting. We must operate, expecting that the season that we have been praying for will arrive. When it does, be ready!

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.