Al-Lateef Farmer; No Longer Waiting His Turn…
And, with this knowledge I have learned
That salvation cannot be earned.
And, though many bridges I have burned
God is waiting for me to turn
Brian Courtney Wilson “Waiting to Turn”
I don’t remember the exact words that caused the stream of tears down my face, but they were real, even if that moment seemed surreal. I had been going to church for a couple months and the sermons were definitely sticking to my ribs, but that day, that moment, hit me in the heart. I don’t remember putting my hand up, but my right hand was held high in response to the Pastor asking if anyone in attendance was ready to turn their life over to Christ.
I grew up in church, completely surrounded by prayer, Bible Study on Wednesday nights at my grandmother’s house. My great-grandmother was an usher and on the Missionary Board, my mom is now a minister, the church family was my classmates, my teachers, store owners, police officers, they were everywhere. However, I decided that church, religion, wasn’t for me, so by my teenage years I opted out of Sunday service and everything else that came with active worship. Over the next few years, absenteeism became anger after my grandmother died, and then my great-grandparents and my mother decided that she was going to follow a calling to attend a Bible college.
I was alone and angry, unfeeling, living on my own terms, but never too far from the Lord’s reaches. My mother would call, text or e-mail me prayers, I would pray when I felt overwhelmed by life, but I just couldn’t carry myself into a church. I believed, but not enough to act on my belief, even though there were signs everywhere that God was working in my life. Then, I started seeing someone and noticed a calm about her life, a calm that emanated from her faith. We would talk on her way home from service and I would ask about the Word that day and she would happily share. As we got closer, she invited me to attend with her, despite knowing my stance and sensing my reluctance.
I hadn’t been to church outside of a wedding or funeral in years, so I was apprehensive, but afterwards I felt like I’d been missing something. I visited a few times more in the months leading to the November day when I was saved. The Pastor that day spoke on trying to steer your way through life using intellectualism, discounting the miracles of God and it felt like he was speaking directly to me. I had turned to everything in my absence, trying to figure life out on my own, but God was still waiting His turn. I could hear Brian Courtney Wilson singing “Waiting to Turn” in my head as I walked to the alter and then into the back to cry out in prayer.
I emerged a new man, not in the clichéd sense, but in the essence that I had a new walk. I found a peace, I discovered that calm that my now-wife has and I’ve been able to continue to find order in my life. I’m a work in progress and don’t claim to be an authority on anything, I’m still learning and growing daily. I read my Bible, not as diligently as I should, but I’m reading. What came with that moment was a new extended family, a Pastor that makes a point to ask if I’m getting something each week, an Elder that randomly texts me scriptures filled with encouragement and a congregation that understands that I’m just returning to the Word. Sure, I don’t tell my neighbor anything and all the hugs trip me out a bit, but I’m growing and God is no longer waiting his turn.
Staff Writer; Al-Lateef Farmer
More of his work can be found over at: The World According to Teef.
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