Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can You Wait on God?

(heads up since this is a religious post and can be ignored:) last time i polled my readers i know the majority of you are here to read about tech and other random posts beside those regarding my faith:)

Sitting in a brainstorming meeting this week, my colleague, Dan, asked an executive team if they could “wait on God?” This was regarding the crafting of a new venture’s strategy. He discussed how typically people want to come to a decision quickly, especially in board rooms and executive meetings.

During this discussion, my mind was jarred to past conversations I’ve had with my parents. They sold their retail coffee chain almost three years ago and initially told me that they would rest a year and then start a new business. So they traveled to various European countries, went to Egypt, forced us to join them on an Alaskan cruise, and other destinations. It was past a year and I remember asking them if they had decided on their next business. They both told me that they are still praying and waiting on God.

“Bernard, our prior business we felt that we didn’t truly seek God’s will, so this time we are praying and waiting for God’s clear direction.”

During the second year of their hiatus, my grandmother became ill so this occupied much of their time. She eventually recovered late last year, so I asked them earlier this year if they had come to a decision. They said that they were still praying and waiting.

So all of this came full circle this week. It took the words of another person, in this case Dan, to provide a better understanding of my parents’ decision process. I am the typically driven person, especially in business, who wants decisions. Ideally within minutes, though I am willing to wait hours for answers. Patient people in the business world are measured in days, possibly weeks. My parents set their decisions within a framework of months and years.

This reminded me of Abraham’s and Moses’ patience as they waited on God’s promise. Their framework was in years and decades. I guess waiting on God takes patience and trust. I’m not sure if I could have waited like Abraham or Moses. I definitely would have gotten into some exhausting debates with myself.

It’s interesting to think about decision processes that take years. Not all situations allow for this, but if I faced one that did, could I wait? Or would my trust in God wear down? How would I maintain that trust in God?

Since college I’ve created ten year plans and roadmaps to where I want to be professionally and what I would like to accomplish during that time, but this is very different from following a decision-making process that incorporates waiting on God. In each stage of my career I’ve felt that God has guided me through open doors towards opportunities that I didn’t know existed. But I am afraid that didn’t happen because I waited on God but in spite of the fact that I was impatient to reach a decision and get on with it.

Joining with the Lunsford Group — InsideWork’s parent company — probably was the longest waiting period I’ve been through and that was only 4 months. God probably knows I’m not ready for frameworks that operate in years.

So it’s interesting to think about God’s time frame. It’s an eternal perspective. The Chinese government makes 100 year plans, but imagine plans for a thousand years? Ten thousand years? A million? Putting it in this perspective, I realize my parents’ process is excellent and something I can learn from. It’s not lost time or opportunity but a true investment in trusting God and gathering the best counsel for the success of their next business. Over the past few months, I’ve been itching to ask them again but now I will just wait on the Lord and pray with them.

“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him” Isaiah 30:18

Originally posted at InsideWork

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