is a quality of spirit, not a quantity of
time." (Eugene Peterson)
live in a hurry. People don't walk quickly enough
for me. Goals take too long to
reach. Programs feel bogged down by minutia.
Email replies are too slow. Meaningful
relationships take forever to develop. And so
I could just release the brakes, the world would
function so much more efficiently and effectively.
We could achieve so much more.
'slowness' around me breeds deep frustrations,
especially my own slowness to learn, grow, change,
impatience, however, reflects how unaware I am of
God's work in the world. His timetable rarely
matches mine. We seem to be on different
wavelengths so much of the time.
the Apostle Paul encountered Christ on the road to
Damascus and received his commission to take the
gospel to the Gentiles, I imagine he was ready to
roll. His history was filled with zeal and action.
Paul was not one to diddle. If there's a job to
do, get on with it.
God countermands our "Hurry up!" with His own
"Listen up!" We usually overestimate what can be
done in the short-term and underestimate what
might be accomplished in the long-term. And His
long-term is the longest perspective of
Saul/Paul listened to God, he disappeared from
view after his Damascus conversion, spending three
years in Arabia and then perhaps eleven more years
preaching unobtrusively in Syria and Antioch (Gal
1.15-2.1). Fourteen years of relative obscurity
before the Holy Spirit said "Set Saul apart for
the work to which I have called him" (Acts 13.2).
The Lord's timetable is just that ... His
timetable, not ours.
I had been sent to save the world, I surely would
have "landed" ready to go. Arrive and conquer
quickly. Every minute counts! Waste no
time! But the Christmas season challenges my
haste. It reminds me that Jesus arrived as a baby,
to grow, to learn, and to share life before
of us may feel more affinity with "Hurry
Christmas" than "Merry Christmas". But perhaps,
tucked in this story of the babe of Bethlehem is
the invitation to discover the Lord's timing
rather than our own - in all of life.
cultural inclination to rush might well be
replaced by the spiritual exercise of hush.
Despite our self-importance and sense of urgency,
He sets the pace and determines the results that
matter most. This Christmas, let's pause,
take a breath and change the mantra. "Listen Up,