Where from here?#5. “Holding pattern.”

Where from here?#5. “Holding pattern.”

I wish that air travel could be as exciting today as it was the first time I took off on an aeroplane. That was a thrilling experience. I still love the take-offs, but the confined conditions in economy class for up to 14 hours does dampen the spirit a little. Though, things could be worse. Add in baggage delays, extra security checks and long immigration queues and you start wondering why you left home. When flying, one thing that I have never worried too much about is the aeroplane having to go into a lengthy holding pattern before landing. I have calculated, maybe naively, that the plane’s ability to hold that pattern for any length of time must be limited due to fuel restraints.

However, I have found myself in other holding patterns in which I have not been so sanguine. Apart from life’s ability to throw one into jobs, places, and relationships that you are not happy with, there are those you chose for yourself.

I heard the story of a fussy single Christian man who wanted a wife. Getting out of his car at the mall he prayed, “Lord, lead me to the right woman.” On entering the mall, he met a good Christian woman that he knew well. Not being excited about God’s choice, he reasoned in his heart, “This is just God testing me. He is telling me that I need to be more specific about what I am praying for.”

Sometimes praying for something to happen can be like waiting for clearance to land. Your hopes and dreams are in a state of suspended animation with no apparent progress in sight.

When a person or thing sits stagnant before you, showing little or no sign of change, frustrations grow. Their holding pattern feels like your holding pattern.

Given long enough you will be asking, “Where from here?”

Christians really must look to the Lord for wisdom and strength. If we truly believe that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him,” we would do well to start looking for “God’s good in all things.”

“We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom.5:3-5).

John Staiger



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