Purpose in the Meantime

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This post was composed by Stephanie Wesley, who leads our music at FRC, and Drew Poppleton.

During Advent, we remind ourselves of Christ’s first arrival and anticipate his second arrival. In that way, Advent forces us to contemplate the question, “what are we doing in the meantime?”

To answer that question, I’d like to suggest that we have something to learn from musicians (I know, bear with me!).

Musicians are quite adept at handling the “meantime.”

The musical form of meantime is the rest. During a musical rest, the musician does not cease from action. While a rest may involve an absence of sound, it also involves an active waiting because the musician must anticipate the exact moment to begin playing again. In other words, it’s not just rest; there’s something happening in the meantime.

I wonder if, in the Christian life, something similar is happening? What if, like a musician during a rest, we’re not merely “sitting things out” as we wait for the Kingdom to come? What if, instead, we are actively and eagerly pursuing purpose? I wonder what it would look like to pursue purpose in the meantime?

My hunch is that, like musicians, if we increase our awareness of what we’re waiting for, we can change how we wait.

You see, unless it’s improvisational jazz, musicians know what’s coming. They base their next move off the knowledge of the music, music that was composed with intentionality and purpose, music designed to reflect beauty and goodness.

Likewise, we have a Composer that has designed a beautiful ending. Although we don’t know the Spirit’s every move, we also don’t have to wait around in ignorance. The Composer laid out the score in the Scriptures.

Since we know that the Composer wants us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly,” (Micah 6:8) we can we be confident that pursuing purpose “in the meantime” will involve stretching our muscles of compassion, mercy, and generosity. Similarly, when we provide aid, comfort, and compassion “for the least of these brothers and sisters” (Matthew 25:37-40), we can be confident that we are living into the ultimate will of the Composer. When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we display the Composer’s grand vision through our actions. And so on …

The Composer has a plan. As you and I wait for the masterpiece to be fully realized, we can play a part.

What part of the Composer’s plan would you like to play today?


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