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Breaking Away from the Human Rush
Time rushes on
Time is running out! Something like that has been said, or read, at one time or another. I’m sure. But are there not 24 hours in a day? And at least a third of those hours are spent counting “Zs”. Thus there remains two-thirds of the day to get it done.
Hmm, I should try this thought on for size: perhaps if I can’t get it done during my waking hours, I could be spending too much time sleeping, or on the nonessential and trivial. Or perhaps, too, I may be “worried and upset about many other things,” as was Martha. “Only thing is needed,” Jesus said (See Luke 10:38-42)
Time! It no longer marches on; it rushes on! And myself as all I'm sure are caught up in it no matter where we're at or what we do or who we are. Time waits for no man, woman, or child.
Ever tried to imagine a world without time? It’s practically an impossible thing to do, isn’t it? Imagine for instance, a football game, or such, without a clock. It would probably for certain spell disaster for one team and a glorious eternity for the other.
The rise and fall of the many overnight commercial carriers, and that seemingly overnight, has done little to slow down the rush of time. They cater to the demands of the “now” generation.
Indeed, today’s “hurry-up-and-get-it-done-yesterday" world doesn’t leave me much time to ponder a task. So often I think that I must get it done, or there, “A.S.A.P.” This is an age when almost everything going across country (or anywhere for that matter) “absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” or even in a matter of minutes.
This is the jet age. But if jets are too slow, I can certainly “Fax it” there; it’s just a phone call away. And today, with that mobile devise carried on the hip or in a purse, “texting” is even faster. Wherever one is he/she can simply whip out the wireless and let his/her fingers fly across the keyboard (but I hope not while driving), composing that "precious" message for whomever, across the nation or across the sea, to as many people perhaps on their contact list.
This is a time where the words express or rush are not uncommon words, since it's needed yesterday.
This is an instant society, with its instant potatoes, instant gravy, instant putting, instant coffee, and, yes, even instant grits. I may rush off to work and rush through my job, just so I can rush home to “prepare” dinner in the microwave. Then it’s time for a moment of leisure. Yet I miss it. (Or do I?) I lounge back in that easy chair for a quiet evening of television, and generally I may wind up dozing even through the 11:00 news.
Having then slept through the late night movie, I stagger to the bedroom to spend the rest of the night (or perhaps morning) in bed. I rise just in time for my instant breakfast and another rushing day.
In my rush to beat the morning rush hour, I may find myself getting caught in the rush of bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic. And then, my temper, too, may waste no time to flair.
I finally arrive at work; in a huff I might add. Slowly, I sort through the “To do” list, which gets longer by the minute. There’s just too much to do; certainly some can wait until tomorrow. But that’s what I said yesterday. (Ah-ha, the great procrastinator.) There’s just not enough time for all my demands, and there is much that demands my time. Whew! Already I'm exhausted. Where’s that coffee break? (Sigh.)
A call for calmer times
How often the busy-ness of my business and even my leisure deprives me of contemplating life’s calmer times, and my Creator—God. God created such calmer times for my pleasure and leisure that I may learn how to more aptly reflect His image in a world that seems to thrive on time’s fleeting minutes. Or, to put it another way, in a world that enjoys “life in the fast lane.”
Yet, God does not hurry. He is patient. He works everything out in His own time, in His own way, and for His own purpose. At the same time He never tarries. Amazingly, everything is done decently and in order, too. How mind-boggling! Why can’t I be like that?
Ah, then, in one of my fleeting minutes a still small voice, causing me to be still, just for a moment, whispers, reminding me, “You can, my son. I made you. Remember? I sculptured you painstakingly, day by day, in my own image, with my own hand, for my own glory. You are my workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which I have prepared for you to do. (Ephesians 2:10.) But you must wait upon me with patience and perseverance, daily, and I will show you that work. In the meantime, content yourself with being all I want you to be.”
 Tarry is mankind’s word when referring to the return of the Lord. “If the Lord tarries…” we say, but only the Father knows the exact time when Jesus will return. Thus, emphasizing God’s patience: He is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9.)
A call for patience
Ah, waiting, it certainly is a difficult task in this day when nobody seems to have time for it anymore; sometimes I think I don’t even have time to wait for the WALK light to cross the street. Yet when I least expect it I often find ourselves doing just that, waiting, and much too often impatiently.
I often have to wait in long lines at the supermarket. I notice the sign above, pointing out the store’s “customer courtesy policy—that if three customers are in line, we will open another checkout”—and I wonder if they’ve noticed it too. Then, finally, on my way home my patience may run out at the guy in front of me sitting at a green light.
Yet patience is a virtue, a character quality God wants to build in me if I will only take the time to let Him.
God works all things out for my good and His glory that I might be transformed to the likeness of His Son, not He to my likeness. But that’s the value of waiting—waiting for God’s timing, which is always perfect. As it is with the Father, so it is with the Son—to be patient. And it’s that character into which He desires to transform me.
With patience, therefore, I can break away from the human rush. Ah, in considering maybe here are some "practical" ideas i can practice: (1) when the five o’clock whistle sounds, I can take the busiest freeway home and purposely get caught in that bumper-to-bumper traffic. And (2) even travel in the far right, slower lane. Or better still take the surface streets. Ah, (3) Why not cook my dinner in a crock-pot, rather than the microwave, or (4) look for the longest line in the supermarket, rather than the shortest.
And I should remember through it all, God is there, too, waiting with me. With creativity, ways to practice patience are endless. Of course such practical (hmm) adventures will probably mean some previous planning. But what’s the value of it all? While I’m waiting I’ll have time to make a new friend, or pray, or memorize some of God’s Word, or a number of other items on that ever-expanding “To do” list waiting to get done.
Obviously, however, the most practical way to develop patience is to practice waiting upon God through His Word, day by day. It may mean that I don't doze at night in that easy chair in front of the television. But rather get to bed at a reasonable hour, so that I can rise reasonably, perhaps even before the break of day. It was Jesus’ custom, having to “escape” the press of the crowd occasionally to spend time with His Father. (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16.)
When my first “Good morning” is to the Father, my other “Good mornings” can be said with more zest and meaning.
Only after time spent with my Father, acknowledging His presence, through my ever time-pressed day, will I be able to soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint. (See Isaiah 40:31.)
As Jesus has said, gently admonishing Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42.) Mary chose rather to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him. I am encourage also with Jesus words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28.)
Only when I choose as Mary did, to sit at the feet of Jesus, will everything I find to do will be done decently and in order. I will see that there actually is enough time in my day to accomplish it all. Amazing.
Therefore, I consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, according to J.B. Phillips, “Don’t let the world [me] squeeze [me] into its mold” ( Romans 12:2.) and rush with the rush of time. That is, according to the words of the popular song of yesteryear: “Slow down, you’re movin’ to fast; gotta make the mornin’ last …”
When I purposely choose “what is better,” that one thing that is needed, I will learn of the one thing I am to do. As the apostle Paul has realized: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-13)
 Feeling Groovy, The 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon and Garfunkel, 1966
© 2016 Charles Newcombe