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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • FAITH & VALUES: ‘Oh how true this is with life, if we just weren't in a rush.’

  • Sometimes it feels like things take a really long time.  When you are anxious, nothing goes fast enough.  So, how do we enjoy the process when the process takes too long?  In other words, how do we enjoy our time when time seems to take too much of our time?


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  • Sometimes it feels like things take a really long time.  When you are anxious, nothing goes fast enough.  So, how do we enjoy the process when the process takes too long?  In other words, how do we enjoy our time when time seems to take too much of our time?
    [8] But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,
    (2 Peter 3:8-9a ESV)
    I spent the last week in Colorado with my family on vacation.  It was one of those trips that played out hour-by-hour, and day-by-day.  We stayed up late, woke up late, watched movies, sports, ate popcorn, ate more popcorn, ate other food, went shopping, ate at our favorite restaurants, drank coffee at our favorite coffeehouses, ate (did I say that?), laughed a lot, laughed more, then ate more, and planned absolutely nothing.
    The best activity we did was reminiscing about old times, finding ourselves in awkward silence while watching crocodile tears stream down each other’s cheeks.
    In all the joy filled days, that were unprogrammed, like a good Quaker family I found myself at times getting anxious at not knowing what was going to happen next.  I found myself anxious to get out of bed even though it was only 7:30 and we had nothing planned.  I was impatient to make plans even though we didn't need to make plans.  I even found myself inpatient with the traffic lights! 
    Leighton said from the backseat while waiting at an obviously long stoplight, "Dad, this light is broke, just drive!"  I replied, "Leighton, I can't, the cops will stop me."  There was a very dramatic silence, and finally he questioned, "They have cops here?".  I had to explain to him we weren't in Kansas anymore.
    This small example is a normal example that you have probably felt from time to time as well.  Things just take longer than we want - especially when we are doing life with others.  Their needs become folded into our needs and time seems to shrink.
    There are times in life that I can be frustrated with moments like that.  At times I have felt screams bubbling in my throat and have desired to strike out against this invisible force that is ransacking my time.  I mean, my time is precious and so is yours.  But this time it was different.  Some say it's age.  I am 41 - that's a lot of time. 1,293,833,966 seconds and counting to be exact, and as that number gets larger, my time continues to shrink.
    I realized something vital on my last night in Colorado.  We went to the nursing home to visit my grandmother who is 94 (that's 2,966,351,044 seconds and counting) and has suffered multiple strokes in the last four weeks.  She was not supposed to make it to Christmas, but she was hanging on when we got there and speaking when we left.  After enjoying a moment of inspecting her now perfectly crooked smile, I looked into her cloudy yet sparkly eyes and said, "Grandma, I love your smile!”, to which she replied, "I have always loved your smile."
    Page 2 of 2 - Two things I learned from her statement:
    One, the fact that things take a long time means that the end result will be better.  When we are forced to move slowly, we have time to mature and improve. Oh how true this is with life, if we just weren't in a rush.
    Two, the fact that my time is a limited resource helps me to determine what actually matters.  That day I realized that over 94 years of life my grandma had been enjoying the small smiles of life every second.
    Read it again...
    [8] But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,
    (2 Peter 3:8-9a ESV)
    As I read that last line and can't help but think about how patient God has been with me, yet is still smiling.
    Patience is not about time, but about love.  1 Corinthians 13 describes what love is, and starts it's classic description with, "Love IS PATIENT…" (1 Cor. 13:4)  Patience is active, and passive, but more importantly, it's a heart filled with love, resulting in great joy that can't be measured by time.
    It's good to be home.  I know your New Year will be filled with the small smiles, but I pray you will have the patience to see them and enjoy them.
    Pastor Donnie