I have noticed lately that in some things instant isn't fast enough. Heating a cup of water or coffee in the microwave takes all of one to one and a half minutes. I want it in fifteen seconds. It takes less than two hours for me to travel to Des Moines. I want to be there in less than one. The washing machine does all the work for me, but I want it finished, dry and ready to wear, (no ironing), in twenty minutes. I have a doctor’s appointment and want to see him or her as I walk in the door of the office, yet, I want his or her attention as long as I have questions, no matter those in the waiting room. The traffic light doesn't turn green quickly enough and we squeeze through the yellow one even though it turns red as we enter the intersection. Or, what about the computer? It is much faster than that old typewriter, yet, the few seconds it takes to get to another site I need to view or getting the printer to work on Que seems unending. I think we find we want the people we live and work with to respond instantly to our wishes, as well. Sounding familiar? Where does impatience dominate your day?
Why are we in such a hurry? Most everything in our lives now is made to work quickly. How blessed we are to have all the convenient appliances and electronics. Remember how long it took to give the operator the number you wanted to call, or how long it took for the other people on your line to get off the phone. Have you tried to use a dial phone lately instead of the cell phone with your friend's numbers programed in, or tried to pay bills by writing a check and getting it ready to mail instead of on-line paying? (I still do checks.) We could go on and on.
There are some things that just take time, that can not be instant. Things such as training athletes can not be rushed. Musicians have to take time to practice and build skills to enhance their gifts. And relationships. Only time and effort will grow and deepen a relationship.
Our relationship with God takes time. God is with us instantly, but it takes time for us to become confident in that. To trust God, to rely on God, to talk with and listen to God, to know how to receive from God, to know the freedom God gives through Jesus, and the love God has poured out for us and wants to lavish upon us, all take time. Time at the beginning or ending of the day to place ourselves in a position to talk alone with God, read in the Bible, think about what has just been read, letting it soak into our minds and spirits and time to spend with others who are developing their relationship with God, such as Bible study groups and worship, is more vital in our lives than a healthy food diet.
I urge you to TAKE TIME, schedule it in your busy day, turn off the TV, get away from the computer, ask God's help in getting to know Him. Then, when you need God instantly, you will be more able and ready to hear and know that God was there even sooner than "instant."
By Sharon Heien, minister in training, writing in place of Carl A. Heien, Pastor, Fairview Church of the Brethren, while Carl is recovering.