Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting


Take a minute to watch the above video if you haven't already. It reveals something about delayed gratification in our culture. We live in a culture of immediacy. You can have just about anything you want almost instantly. If I want to talk with a friend, I can call or text them. If I need the answer to a question, I can Google or ChaCha it. If I want the new song on the radio, I can download it to my phone or computer in a matter of seconds. If I want some new clothes or shoes, I can buy it on Amazon (or Zappos and get free shipping!). If I want to get to know someone better, I can become their friend on Facebook, read their blog, follow their Twitter, or just Google their name. Last week I was in California with two friends looking for a place for dinner in Yucaipa. With a few clicks on an iPhone, we had a list of the nearest pizza places, along with directions and customer reviews.

There's this unspoken rule that waiting is inconvenient at best and downright immoral at worst. If you've ever seen a Starbucks barista get chewed out by a customer who had their drink delayed or felt your blood rise when your Internet connection slows, you've experienced this rule played out.

So how does this affect our spiritual journeys? How long can we wait for an answer to our prayers when we can barely pray more than 5 minutes at a time? How do we enjoy passages of Scripture when our minds are trained for 140 characters? How long can we patiently endure seasons where God feels distant? If God doesn't act according to our timeline, do we still view Him as good? When we're in the midst of frustration, confusion, or pain, how long can our faith stand when waiting isn't a value?

I've been reading Psalm 13 a lot this week and I share it below. It has a lot to do with having an obedient faith while also being honest about pain and doubt. Perhaps waiting is a key component to a maturing faith; perhaps our spiritual journeys are on an eternal timeline instead of our temporal one.

Waiting is faithfulness on the other side of frustration.

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

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