October 4, 2006

Heresy of the Instantaneous

I read an article similar to this, a few months ago. In the other article it said that the average customer's wait was reduced by 30 seconds! 30 seconds! I can't remember a time where 30 seconds would have made a difference in my enjoyment of the restaurant. Maybe the fast food industry could invest a little bit more in developing the taste factor.

Assembly lines, fast food, solid state electronics, computer processors, and microwave ovens have all contributed a shortening of our wait times. This technology was supposed to ease the stress on our lives and give us sooooo much more time. In fact, it has done the opposite. We now expect everything to be done quickly and efficiently with little investment on our part.

This attitude has leaked into our spirituality as Christians. When it comes to spiritual growth, we want God to heal us, deliver us, release us, or whatever other term we use to signify that we want spiritual maturity and we want it now. Does God heal, deliver, release us instantaneously? Yes, but there is often something in the process of seeking and working that God uses to change us with His grace.

Often we seem to believe that if we can't get it instantaneously, then it is obviously not of God. God, for some reason, is not going to make us work for anything because He is a God of grace. I contend that God often makes us work because He is a God of Grace. What we get for free we often treat as though it has little value. Through the centuries, God has distributed His grace through the "acts of righteousness" and the spiritual disciplines and practices of the Church.

God definitely changes people instantaneously, but often, God uses the process and the work to give value and provide grace to the change. And often the "instantaneous" release of God is an attitude that needed to change, and then your homework is to work out the details of what that looks like through His continued grace and presence.

Personally, I prayed for years that God would give me a closer relationship with him, greater depth in my spiritual life, and more consistency in my time with Him. One day, I realized (through God's enlightenment) that in order to be more consistent in my time with Him I had to show up no matter what. So I began setting a time early in the morning and literally forcing myself out of bed. Even if I sat there in a groggy haze, I was there. You know what? God showed up. When I showed up, God showed up, and when God showed up my relationship with Him became closer and had more depth. I also discovered that consistency happened when I MADE myself show up to my time with God. It was an instantaneous insight that led to a lot of hard work on my part, but brought the outcome God desired in my life.

1 comment:

  1. *applause*

    Yep. It's hard to not get impatient and want it NOW! But anything good is worth working for.

    Persist, push, press onward... keep on keeping on.