Welcome to November! What an opening week we have had to this new month! The past few days have been eventful, to say the least. On top of the excitement and tension that comes with any presidential election (and this more than most), we also celebrated Spirit Week in our CCA community, rallying around one another with uniforms of a rather different kind each day this week–from storied characters to patriotic colors to Centurion blue and gold. One day we took a trip through time as students dressed in decade-themed clothes. Each day brought new surprises and delights, the kind that can come when we practice regular rhythms of steady faithfulness (like our routine schedules and uniforms) punctuated by times of special feasting and celebration, not unlike holidays in the church calendar. The ordinary needs the special, and the special needs the ordinary in order to make one another meaningful. To paraphrase the words of Dash Parr from The Incredibles, ignoring that some things are ordinary and others are not is another way of saying that nothing is special. And yet we know that God has given us both as a gift together. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven,” and this “is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 13).
All these things have me thinking about time and patience and perspective. We have a rather hard time with not only enjoying both the ordinary and the special in their proper places but also with taking a long view of history. The Scriptures are filled with verses admonishing us to wait and trust in the Lord, and this is an especially recurring theme in the Psalms: “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass” (Psalm 37:7); “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5); “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield” (Psalm 20). Clearly, our natural bent is towards impatience and worry, for we have to be reminded over and over again to the opposite: “Therefore, do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?…[and] do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:31, 34); and “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm” (Psalm 37:8). God knows that we often find ourselves in situations where the wicked seem to prosper and things aren’t looking pretty for His people. He knows that we have short memories and attention spans, holding onto a short view of history. Even when we’re reading our Bibles or history books, we have a hard time processing the years, decades, and centuries that can slip by with the turn of a page (or even between successive verses and paragraphs!). We have a hard time in the moment recognizing that our lives are but a breath, a vapor, and grass that withers. We naturally live in a state ruled by that usurping tyrant, Urgent, and governed by that frightful foe, Forgetful. And that brings us to the recurring reminder and reason for how we ought to live: by faith. Every election, every math test, every regular season win or championship loss presents opportunities for us to remember our frailty and God’s faithfulness. Time is both creation and gift, all aimed at pointing to God’s glorious sovereignty and love and our utter dependence upon him. But it should comfort us some that even the angels, apparently bound in time as well, share the cry with us, for they, too, ask with us: “O Lord of Hosts, how long…?” (Zechariah 1:12).
This week we have been able both to celebrate special days and wait patiently for results we may or may not like. But by the time our pre-K students graduate, they will have potentially lived under five different presidencies in this country. If we have done our jobs well, we will have equipped them with deep, rich, Scripturally-grounded historical perspective that takes a long and faithful view. They will remember that each moment is important in the present but also that we are part of a much bigger narrative with a known King and Kingdom, one who is for us and calls us to Himself. God is not reeling, and as His people, neither need we. Christ remains on His throne, unthreatened, unsurprised, unfazed, but not uncaring, uninvolved, or unaware. His kingdom is unshaken, and His long view of history has the perspective to understand the beginning from the end. This too shall pass, and every moment matters more and less than we can imagine. As Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes: “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (7:8). No one exemplifies that better than our Lord Jesus, who has a glorious end in mind. We get to join with the saints and all God’s creation in eagerly awaiting that beautiful, just, and redemptive end: “Come, Lord Jesus.” What a great reminder for us as we look ahead to the final week of our first quarter. I’m excited to finish strongly and rejoice in God’s faithful hand that has brought us safely thus far. May the Lord bless your rest together and your week ahead.