We live in an automated, if not entirely automatic world. Everywhere I look there is a gadget that will do something for me faster and better than I can do it myself. I have a microwave to heat up food so that I don't need to use the oven or the stove top. When I have access to a car I can get places so much faster, and to places much farther away, than when I have only my feet to carry me. I point a rectangle of plastic at a large screen and suddenly a picture and sound fill my living room at the touch of a button. If I want it, I can have it, with very little effort.
But this was not always so with people, and this has rarely been the case with God. God is rarely immediate. Instead, God is a slow mover. He is all about preparation. He is all about taking the time to teach his people, to grow their character, to prepare them for the journey ahead. The Bible is full of stories of people waiting on the Lord, of people experiencing improvements in little portions. God rarely needs us to improve and makes it so that, suddenly, in one fell swoop, we are entirely where we need to be. Instead, we work at it, He works in us, and little by little, we get to where He wants us to be.
I am trying to imagine today what waiting would look like if I didn't have so little to wait for in my life. If everything took time, would I be so impatient with the Lord? I think not. I hope not. There are benefits to having the world at our literal fingertips, but today I am stepping back. Today I am taking a break from immediacy and going for something simpler.
Are you attached to immediacy, too?
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.