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 remain two-thirds of the day to get it done.
Hmm, let us try this thought on for size: perhaps if we can’t get it done during our waking hours, we could be spending too much time sleeping, or on the nonessential and trivial. Or perhaps, also, we 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 we 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. Probably it would spell for certain 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 us much time to ponder a task. So often we think that we must get it done, or there, “A.S.A.P.” Today is an age when almost everything going across the country (or anywhere for that matter) “absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” or even in a matter of minutes.
Today is the jet age. But if jets are too slow, we can indeed “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 we are we can simply whip out the wireless and let our fingers fly across the keyboard (but I hope not while driving), composing that "precious" message for whomever, across the nation or the sea, to as many people perhaps as on our contact list.
Today is a time where the words "express" or "rush" is not uncommon words since we needed yesterday.
Ours is an instant society, with its instant potatoes, instant gravy, instant putting, instant coffee, and, yes, even instant grits. (Imagine that.) We may rush off to work and rush through our job so that we can rush home to “prepare” dinner in the microwave. Then it’s time for a moment of leisure. But we miss it. (Or do we?) We lounge back in that recliner for a quiet evening of television, and generally, we may wind up dozing even through the 11:00 news.
Having then slept through the late night movie, we stagger to the bedroom to spend the rest of the night (or perhaps morning) in bed. We rise just in time for our instant breakfast and another rushing day.
In our rush to beat the morning rush hour, we may find that we get caught in the rush of bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic. And then, our tempers, too, may waste no time to flair.
We finally arrive at work (in a huff, I might add). Slowly, we sort through the “To do” list, which gets longer by the minute. There’s just too much to do; for sure some can wait until tomorrow. But that’s what we said yesterday. (Ah-ha, the great procrastinator.) There’s just not enough time for all our demands, and there is much that demands our time. Whew! Already we're exhausted. Where’s that coffee break? (Sigh.)
A call for calmer times
How often the busy-ness of our business and even our leisure deprives us of contemplating life’s calmer times, and our Creator—God. God created such gentler times for our pleasure and our leisure that we 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.”
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. How awesome that is -- everything is done decently and in order too. How mind-boggling! Why can’t I be like that?
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 artistry, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which I have prepared for you to do. (See 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 humankind’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
Waiting is a difficult task in this day when nobody seems to have time for it anymore; sometimes we may think that we don’t even have time to wait for the WALK light to cross the street. When we least expect it, however, we often find us doing just that, waiting, and much too often impatiently.
We often have to wait in long lines at the supermarket. We 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 we wonder if they’ve noticed it too. Then, finally, on our way, home our patience may run out at the guy in front of us sitting at a green light.
Patience is a virtue, a character quality God wants to build in us if we will only take the time to let Him.
God works all things out for our good and His glory to transform us to the likeness of His Son, not vice versa. 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 us.
With patience, therefore, we can break away from the human rush. In considering, you may want to consider some "practical" ideas for the practice of patience: (1) when the five o’clock whistle sounds, why not take the busiest freeway home and purposely get caught in that bumper-to-bumper traffic. Or (2) even travel in the far right, slower lane. Or better still take the surface streets. Or (3) why not cook the dinner in a crock-pot, rather than the microwave. Or (4) look for the longest line in the supermarket, rather than the shortest. And remember, God is there, too, waiting with us.
With creativity, ways to practice patience are endless. Of course, such practical (hmm) adventures will probably mean some prior planning. But what’s the value of it all? While we're waiting we'll have time to make a new friend, or pray, or memorize some of God’s Word or many other items on that ever-expanding “To do” list waiting to get done.
However, the most practical way to develop patience is to practice waiting upon God through His Word, day by day. It may mean that we don't doze at night in that recliner in front of the television. But instead get to bed at a reasonable hour, so that we 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. (See Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16.)
When our first “Good morning” is to the Father, our other “Good mornings” can be said with more zest and meaning.
Only after time spent with my Father, acknowledging His presence, through our ever time-pressed day, can we 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 to rather sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him. Jesus also said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.
Only when we choose as Mary did, to sit at the feet of Jesus, will everything we do will be done decently and in order. We will see that there is enough time in our day to accomplish it all. Amazing.
Therefore, consider the words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, according to J.B. Phillips, “Don’t let the world [around us] squeeze [us] 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 moving to fast; gotta make the morning last …”
Personally, 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
Consider reading Waiting in a World of Hurry.
© 2016 Charles Newcombe