Sunday, December 11, 2011

Frustration

Alyson and I were talking the other day about the way things were when we were a kid (a sure sign we’re getting older). We were remembering life before cell phones and e-mail and instant messaging. We remembered with some nostalgia back when you didn’t even have cordless phones in your house. Both of us can remember as children, talking on the kitchen phone wondering around the kitchen stretching that long, curly and often kinked cord to its full length (which was quite long). With such limited telecommunication tools available, you couldn’t talk to anyone at anytime. Sometimes you had to wait. 

We’ve come along way. Information flows at the speed of light. Life seems speed by at the same rate. Just this week, I marveled at the speed with which certain college football programs fire and hire head coaches. Sometimes the transition took only hours. In one case, I’m pretty sure the previous coach hadn’t even cleared out his office yet. Obviously, the speed with which we talk to one another has had unintended consequences. 

As a society we have become an impatient people. And yet those who long to encounter the miraculous must be a patient people. Just think of Mary hearing the angel’s words, “Mary, you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” The thing with the miraculous (not to mention the thing with being pregnant) is it can’t be rushed. It happens according to a heavenly schedule that can’t be hurried or fast forwarded.

So we patiently wait for God to move. What unexpectedly happens for the patient person is they discover God not just in the moving but also in the waiting. Henri Nouwen put it this way, “The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there.”

Let us be a people who have the guts to stay where we are and seek God there.

“Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:30-31.

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