Colby took the bus home for Christmas break. He had two, three-hour lay-overs. One in Nashville and the other in Knoxville. After that it was pretty much a straight shot from Knoxville to Washington, DC. He wasn’t real happy with the long lay overs. From his point of view they were a waste of his time and so incredibly boring. He just wanted to get back on the bus and keep moving towards his destination.
Life has lay-overs. Sometimes no doubt they come from God when He keeps us in a place longer than anticipated. Other times our lay-overs are of our own making. We seem to get a little mixed up in our reaction to both types of life’s layovers. When God has us someplace a little longer than we would like, He generally means to use it as a learning experience. But, we usually want to move on from our spiritual lay-over as soon as possible.
On the other hand, we don’t seem to have a problem at all with our own man-made layovers. We stop and dawdle over some useless distraction when we should be moving on up the path, or even worse, get comfortable and settled. God wants to move us out of our lay-overs as soon as possible. If we are in a God provided lay over for a character building experience, I’m sure He would like it if we just learned what we needed to learn and moved on. When He see’s us in our own man-made layover, He calls to us to move forward with Him. He knows if we wait for too long at our own personal attraction, or settle into a pattern or rut, we may never move on at all.
I personally don’t believe the Christian life is a call to a safe, comfortable and settled life. Christianity isn’t meant to just make us, “good people.” The disciples were not simply “good folks.” The early Christian church families were more than “nice neighbors.” They were people on fire. They loved openly and cared passionately. They were so motivated by Jesus that governments considered them dangerous. That doesn’t sound like a safe and settled life to me.
Now I’m not saying that every one of us needs to be missionaries in the dark jungles of Africa or work in frontier missions. But there are dark places all around us, in our schools, neighborhoods, work places, even our own friends and families. We are called, each of us, to be a light in the dark places around us. Sometimes God has us in a layover to prepare us to be that light, or maybe–just maybe–He’s waiting for us to get turned on and shine in the place He has us.