Impatience or Patience?
We can be a pretty impatient people. At least I know I can be. We’re people who want our minute rice done in 30 seconds. We’re so impatient that McDonalds has put two lanes in the drive-thru so we can try to race while we’re making our orders for Big Macs. We’re so impatient, one of the world’s largest companies, valued at over a trillion dollars, was built on two-day delivery.
But some of the best things in life take time. You can’t relax quickly. Time spent with family and friends always seems too short (well, except for that one family member—you know). A beautiful forest doesn’t grow overnight. Even our plants and our crops take time to mature. They can’t be rushed. I know some of you have traveled to places and seen some beautiful cathedrals and church buildings. One of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen. It’s renowned for its beautiful west rose window. Click here to see the west rose window yourself. Do you know how long it took to build the Lyon Cathedral? Almost 300 years (295 years, if you’re counting). Can you imagine that? Those who began the building process would never see it finished. They were building for those who would come after them.
I think patience is central part of Christianity. Yesterday, in my sermon I talked about how God is patient with us. I talked about the beginning of the beautiful poem, “The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson that illustrates God’s patience with us. You can read “The Hound of Heaven” here. Thompson pictures the frantic way that we sometimes run away trying to escape God—perhaps not intentionally, but certainly trying to go by our own path and to do what we want. But then he pictures the majestic, measured patience with which God pursues us. Thompson calls him the Hound of Heaven because he is unrelenting in his pursuit of us, but he is also unhurried. We should all be thankful for God’s patience with us.
Scripture also tells us that we should be patient with each other. Ephesians 4:2-3 says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace,” (NIV). How patient are you being with one another just now?
I believe we also need to be patient in our current circumstances. We all want things to be normal, but I believe it is important for us to exercise care, caution, and to be patient. Trusting God means that we don’t have to have things just the way we want it immediately.
Finally, I’d say we need to be patient with ourselves as well. Spiritual growth and spiritual maturity is something we should always be working toward. At the same time, we know that we will fail sometimes. We won’t always grow at the same rate. There will be peaks and valleys on our journey.
And one more thing. I forgot to throw my favorite groaner of the week into my sermon yesterday. I was pretty proud I came up with this and then just forgot it. So I’ll tell you now—what Jonah did? He ran so far away, just like a flock of seagulls. Ok, I’m sorry. I’ll stop now. I can see your eyes rolling from here.
Hope you are well. Praying for you all. Love you all.
God bless, Brian