Wiley is our barn owl. OK, he's not exactly ours. But he lives in our neighborhood, and we've seen him so many times, we decided to name him.
He has a white face and looks pretty much exactly like this one (source).
He's a little guy, probably not more than ten inches tall. And we see him at night, along the very dark road that comes up behind our community. Our community is on the outskirts of the city, so we bump up against some wild, rolling hills. And because of that, we have quite the assortment of wildlife in our midst.
Wiley sits at the lowest point of the low, sagging telephone line in the pitch dark, staring down into the brush. We can only spot him as our glowing car headlights wash over him. Often, we stop the car and watch. He is motionless, silent, and looks down into even darker, shadowed brush. I have no idea how he can see anything moving below him. All of us are silent too.
Wiley waits for his dinner. Every time we see him, he is waiting, staring down into the black. We've seen him at 9 pm and 11 pm. He is always patiently waiting. He trusts his needs will be met.
Tonight I thought of Wiley because I am waiting too. I can think of at least three situations that need answers in my life. I need the Lord to resolve them, and I'm tempted to feel anxious about them several times a day. I am trying to wait patiently, but I am staring down into the black and seeing nothing move. It is not easy.
In my Bible, I have scrawled on a torn piece of paper - actually it's a piece of a church bulletin from some years ago - this note:
Waiting on the Lord is a spiritual attitude that says
#1 I have a great God
#2 God has everything under control
#3 God's timing is always perfect
#4 THEREFORE I am not going to panic or take matters into my own hands
Know what? This is so simple, and yet I feel like it is never easy to follow with unfaltering faith. I don't so much panic, but I DO so much begin to sneakily take matters into my own hands. Even if only in my mind, as I walk through Plans B, C, and D, because A seems to be taking too long. That is not OK, my friends! It is a major mental discipline for me to stop the train of thought and WAIT.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Just like Wiley. Through the night, he feels his hunger, the darkness, the silence. Yet he is wholly believing he's going to be provided for. It's just a matter of time.
Owls are actually wise, aren't they?
I'm going to try to be like Wiley this week. I'm choosing to believe that if I keep watching, it's just a matter of time before I see something move. And that thing will be exactly what I need.