"If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time.
 And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm. "

-Mahatma Ghandi
We live in an instant society. A culture where everything is demanded to be supplied immediately. We have fast food, instant coffee, our movies and television shows all stream instantly to all of our devices. We all carry phones around so that we can all be reached instantly. 

Everything comes fast. Everything comes easy.

The contradiction in the way we live our lives is that we all know down deep that nothing worth having comes easy. It's universally known that fast food is terrible. Instant coffee is an insult to all things actual coffee. Most of the movies streaming are schlocky B movies (though there are great things on Netflix like Doctor Who). And the best times we having building relationships with one another is when the phones are off, the twitter feed is silenced and we aren't waiting for the PING of our phones letting us know we have another "like" on Facebook.

I dare you right now to think of the best moments of your life. When you changed and you felt the world change around you. Was it when you were comfortable? When everything was coming easy? Or rather was it when everything was hard and you overcame something to get an amazing victory that lasted your entire life? I'm betting it was the latter if you are being honest with yourself.

And yet our culture continues to push instant and comfort and ease on us. Tricking us into believing that this is what we want. That this is what's best. And then we look at mountains, the most breathtaking views and nature and we know that they were not instant, not quick and easy, but the result of thousands of years.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
                                                                                                  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now take this fact that we know patience is better, that fruit we've worked for tastes sweeter than fruit freely given, and let's apply to what we think about God. 

We pray and expect instant results. That's things will immediately be different in the morning. The sun rises and things are the same and we get disappointed in God. But here's the thing:

The sun still rises.

God plays the long game. He works in you and through you for the entirety of your life. While you are waiting He is quietly and patiently performing surgery on your heart. Cutting out the things you don't need, don't truly want. He looks months, years, decades into your future, preparing you for eternity. Knowing that you cannot stand before Him face to face until you have a face. When your legs are prepared to stand before Him.

This is His great love for us. His great kindness that we call cruelty.  We're children screaming at their parents about how much they hate them because they couldn't have candy for dinner, while the loving parents know the candy will make the child sick. 

And so we wait, knowing this time is slowly transforming us into people of substance that can quietly stand like the mountains against the horrors of the world that come and go like the mist on the breeze.

We are being prepared for eternity.

Chad Messer
9/19/2012 01:01:25 pm

It sounds strange (but I know you can relate) but the most recent times that have felt transformative to me are the days right after my depression breaks. It feels like being born again to lay that burden down. Evan the fact that you know the burden will return is a blessing, because it increases your empathy and it increases your compassion. Sometimes the curse of the creative class is that we focus on the negatives at the expense of the positives, but they are both a part of life, and to see them is to know them, and to know them is to love them. I love my life, even though it sometimes hurts, because God's got a use for me, even if I don't recognize what it is.

9/20/2012 08:18:11 am

Dude, even your comments ooze with art. I guarantee God's got a use for you. He made you! If I can be so bold, ask Him how He sees you, ask him for a revelation of who you are to Him. I bet He sees you as way more important than you see you yourself. You're awesome, brother!

Denise Helms
9/20/2012 07:22:08 am

This is timely - everything I've been reading is about -media filling our minds & home with useless stuff - that we ( yes me too) are hooked on. I am concerned about modern young people who cannot stop texting to have a conversation face to face. yet when we are without power & TV - I go stir crazy, sometime I just put it on for background noise. When do I get quiet and listen for that still small voice??

9/20/2012 08:25:07 am

Very true, this is part of the reason why we disconnected the cable to our tv. We found we were watching nothing just for the background noise. The quiet moments are the best time to mine the art from your soul.

9/20/2012 07:34:30 am

I love this: "God plays the long game. He works in you and through you for the entirety of your life. While you are waiting He is quietly and patiently performing surgery on your heart." So true. Oh, and I am so glad your post clarified your stance on instant coffee...Bleh!!

9/20/2012 08:27:02 am

Instant Coffee is terribly gross. The best coffee I ever drank was in the mountains of Nicaragua, fresh from the roaster. Thanks so much for reading! glad you enjoy!

Wanda Ritchie
9/20/2012 02:23:19 pm

Dave, this is very true and holds within the writing a challenge. At age 76, I knew a world without TV! I often think how much my children, grandchildren and even our two great-grandchildren missed in not being born into a "quiet" world. Noise, noise, noise ... trafic; speakers blaring from cars! Where can we retreat to "listen to silence"? I like quiet ... don't listen to the radio when I'm driving ... that's my quiet time to pray or think. Will confess, I do watch "good" TV.
I am concerned about the "I want it NOW" attitude a lot of young people have. I even see this in our two year old great-grand sons! You have some great thoughts on this problem in our world today.
Although I never knew my Dad's father, I have been told that he would come in from working on the farm all day, sit down on the porch and say, "I just want to sit here and listen to the Mocking bird sing". I think God probably spoke to him through a Mocking bird's song.
One more thing...We don't like instant coffee! Just finished a bag of delicious coffee from Honduras ... brought to us by our granddaughter Hannah on her second mission trip, to work with orphanage children and youth in the mountains of Honduras.
Your (second cousin) Wanda Rirchie

9/20/2012 09:35:57 pm

I bet that coffee was delicious! And that is a beautiful tale of listening to God through the song of a mocking bird. I call our constant need to be connected or have something blaring being "driven to distraction" never fully present in one moment. This world is simply a shadow of the next, if we could quiet ourselves and our souls I'm certain God would speak to us in the song of a mocking bird and more.

9/24/2012 12:21:51 pm

Does eternity mean even longer waiting lines? Ermahgerd, no thanks! Mostly kidding. I'm the least patient person I know and you're entirely right, I know the quality has value, but I don't take a lot of time to develop it, which is completely unfortunate....

9/24/2012 10:40:06 pm

ERMAGERD! I don't know why but that always makes me chuckle.

We are products of our society my friend. Patience does not come easy to us....at all. We all have these glowing rectangles that dominate our lives promising instant entertainment, but truth seeps in the quiet moments, when our souls are stilled and our mind has stopped racing. You probably have more patience than you give yourself credit for.


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