Your mind is racing, heart pounding, hands shaking slightly as you reach for the door. You climb in and buckle up. As you turn the key the engine thunders to life beneath the hood. The racing in your heart suddenly reaches a whole new level. You turn your eyes to your parent in the front seat trying to listen to the instructions on adjusting the mirrors but barely hearing. You are 16, you have a permit, you are driving today! Finally, you have the car ready, you put it in gear and pull out. As soon as our tires hit the open road, you morph into Mario Andretti. You struggle with the brakes to slow her down and when you finally do, you look down to realize you were only doing 25 in the first place and 15 - while it feels more controlled - is a bit slower than the posted speed limit of 45. Oops.
Pre-field ministry is similar in some ways to learning to drive. There is a slight fear of striking out on a new and unfamiliar venture but there is also the thrill of reaching a goal. Lately what I am learning through pre-field is God's timing. It is not always easy to keep your foot evenly on the accelerator. Speed is the hardest part.
When this step of the adventure began in March, I wanted to take it slow. I approached with guarded anticipation. Candidate seminar however is like a Formula 1 race car. Suddenly, I was flying down the road and could not find the brake. Out of candidate seminar I thought I had found an even speed but then my cruise hit construction. Between scheduling conflicts with work and different adventures set up to various countries, it began slowly. When I felt that I was going hopelessly slow and would never get past the 5 miles per hour mark, I began making progress.
In the last few weeks, I have begun to have more interactions with people. It feels like I am finally beginning to move in the right direction. It is still difficult reaching a person through a phone call rather than an answering machine, but when I have gotten through to people, I have been able to set up multiple meetings. And it is such a joy to have those meetings! God is giving me opportunities to reconnect with friends and to build new relationships with strangers. I am discovering more and more that this is the heartbeat of ministry - relationships. God's desire is not to drive me crazy during the slow times but rather to develop patience. In the slow times, He is calling to me to focus differently. And during the times when I feel like He has just left me in a runaway truck down a mountain, I realize He is trying to instill in me that sense of passionate urgency.
Thankfully God's timing is not my timing. He knows exactly how fast and slow to move. In exactly His time, I will come in contact with those He has raised up to partner with me. All I am required to do is stay faithfully obedient and intentionally diligent. My prayer now is that I will trust His timing and be content in every stage and that others will be searching their hearts to see if God is calling them to partner with me.