It seems like everyone is in a hurry these days. Recently my wife and I had the privilege of attending a Pastors & Wives’ Retreat at Trout Lake Camps. On our way home, I set my cruise control at 55 mph, which was the speed limit, and settled in for the drive. At one point I had five cars and a semi lined up behind me. One by one they passed me and raced on ahead. Two of the cars passed from the very back of the line. Some of you will contend that this happened because I went 55 mph, and no one goes 55 mph anymore. Well, I had the same experience on the freeway going 65 mph. People routinely passed me at elevated speeds.
This experience is a symptom of something bigger. As a society, we are always in a hurry. We have a very hard time waiting for anything. We want it now! Thanks to Amazon prime, we expect everything to come express delivery. What is ironic about our bent on rushing through life is that we miss life. We hurry up to get to our destination, only to be in a hurry to leave and get to the next thing. We seem to be more focused on what’s next, rather than what’s right in front of us.
I believe that Satan uses hurry as a weapon against us. The more he can get us to rush through life, the more disoriented we become. Have you ever heard someone say that they were in such a rush that they didn’t know if they were coming or going? Hurry adds unnecessary stress to our lives, which tears us down physically and emotionally. Hurry robs us of the details of life; the small things that add value to every experience. When we are rushing through life, everything becomes a blur. There is no time to stop and examine what is around us. There is no time to stop and contemplate the beauty, detail and intricacy of life. Life itself becomes a fuzzy picture with little clarity.
Although the Bible does not directly speak about hurry and rushing through life, it does say much about being patient. Patience is not just passively waiting around for something to happen. Patience is the ability to wait with purpose. Patience is taking the time to let things develop properly; to give things time to grow and mature. Patience is trusting God with the outcome.
We often get impatient with God, wanting Him to act according to our timetable. But God is not moved by our desire to rush through life. Instead, He meticulously works out His plan for the world. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) God wants us to trust Him. He has not lost control of our world. If we would slow down a little, we would see more clearly His hand at work. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)
When we insist on living life at top speed, we reap negative consequences. We are more likely to make mistakes; often costly mistakes. As a woodworker, I have learned that it never pays to rush through a project. Too often I have ruined a piece of wood, because I was in a hurry, and had to start over again. There is an old saying that goes like this: Act in haste, repent in leisure.
Life holds many positive delights for us, if we will take the time to discover and enjoy them. There are many people who, coming to the end of their life, wish that they had slowed down and enjoyed the journey more. God does not want us to rush past life. He wants is to truly engage life for our good and His glory.
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.