I used to love TBD. It said that something’s coming…you might not know for sure what yet, or when, or how, or even why. But you know it’s coming. Or that it’s possible. And maybe even probable. It’s a placeholder. A way of staking a claim to something…I may not know what it looks like, but the territory has been staked and claimed. It makes me mentally block off whatever the TBD item is and mark it as taken.
My calendar can be filled with TBD things. “Dinner with Friends – TBD.” “Family Vacation – Location TBD.” “Committee Meeting – Agenda TBD.”
Lately it feels like it’s my private, personal life that’s got TBD stamped all over it. “Half Marathon Training – TBD.” “Quiet Time with Jesus – TBD.” “Graphic Design – TBD.” It’s been so hard to find-slash-make time to fit everything in or have the alone-slash-no kids time to do it. Yet I want to quit nothing.
I sort of feel like God has marked a big TBD over a few things Himself. There have been hints, allusions as to what He’s up to…nothing definite, nothing concrete…just TBD. “That Situation – TBD.” “Your Brother’s Salvation – TBD.” “A Home – TBD.” It can be both encouraging and infuriating at the same time. I think it makes Him chuckle, To Be Direct.
Sometimes with God though, TBD is not so exciting…when it means more than simply To Be Determined. Sometimes it has meant To Be Discussed. Or To Be Done. There have been times when it’s meant Totally Bad Day, and others when it’s meant Totally Blessed Day. Monday can be Trust Big Darlin’ and Friday To Build Discipline. You just never know.
I’m realizing that I very much like control, not just routine…and when things come up that leave a fresh TBD on something I’ve set in my mind, it’s hard for me To Be Ductile (Flexible. I know it’s a stretch.) (Pun intended!) Instead, I get so frustrated with the TBD that I stop whatever it is, give up, throw in the towel and shed a couple of hot tears in frustration.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a
harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
(Galatians 6:9, emphasis mine)
I wonder what would happen if instead I practiced Galatians 6:9? And rather than getting frustrated with God’s TBD, I might get excited about TBD again. I might get that holy anticipation that something’s coming…I might not know for sure what it is, when it’s coming, or how or why. I might believe once again that with God all things are not just possible, but probable too. I might love God even more knowing He’s staked his claim on not just something, but on me…and loved me enough to tell me He’s not done yet…I’m still To Be Determined. What I messed up today won’t determine my tomorrow. Only He will.
I think Galatians 6:9 could be summed up with those three letters, TBD. Because it reminds us to not grow weary, to stay the course, that at just the right time the blessing will come. All that’s necessary is for us to be determined.