It’s a four letter word all of us use and few of us like.
I’m going to confess something to you. I like fast. I love to drive fast. It’s totally a habit. I like to think I can beat the traffic. I’m usually late to an appointment or my next destination. So, I’ve convinced myself that it’s okay to speed. It’s normal for me to dart back and forth from lane to lane in the traffic like I’m 007. The exhilaration and pump I get is easily matched with the sound level of my Spotify playlist in my car. I received a speeding ticket a few years ago while I was driving too fast on Washington, North of Odgen. The officer walked up to the side of my little black Acura as I rolled down the window.
His eyes met mine. He grinned and said, “Looks like you’re having fun in there. Do you know how fast you were going?”
“I’m listening to praise music, sir!” I sheepishly replied and added a cheesy grin.
“Sure you are. License and insurance card, please ma’am.” Rats. I was listening to praise music and singing to the LORD. And, I was driving too fast.
My mom always chided me when I was younger to slow down. I loved to be the first to get to the playground. I didn’t wait around for kids to beat me to the kickball diamond. I raced through my multiplication tables so I could always win. I read all the assigned books first, so I could get all my book reports in before everyone else. Don’t ask me what books I read. I won’t remember them. As an adult, I usually attend the first showing of a new movie. I like to try new restaurants or new menu items so I can recommend to others how the food is or what type of place it is. I was the first one to finish writing my doctoral dissertation only to receive a ‘DO OVER’ from my professors. I hate do overs. But, I hate to be late even more.
I was really antsy one morning as I anxiously waited to pull out into the stream of traffic near our home. No kidding. I heard a voice ask, “Why are you in such a hurry? It’s twenty seconds.”
Not even a minute.
I was struck by the intensity of the revelation. None of us really wait that long to get into traffic. Maybe a few seconds, often less than thirty. I inhaled deeply and exhaled. I purposely waited. Then the guy behind me laid on his truck horn! Ha! I think you get the picture.
Advent is a holy season designed to slow us down. Darkness is cause for us to pause. Think clearly and thoroughly about decisions, life, relationships, work and choices we make. Slow down isn’t a curse. Wait isn’t a swear word. But, it can be a blessing as much as it is a warning.
How we wait reveals a lot about us. What we do while we wait often exposes our level of maturity. We all wait for others, wait for answers, wait for diagnosis, wait on God. There’s the rub, right? I want the new job, now God! I want a better relationship with my kids now God! I want to be successful now God. I think it’s the “NOW GOD” that’s truly revealing. Who are we again? Who are we to tell God how to do something and hurry up! We’re burning daylight. We can’t let moss grow under our feet. Time is money!
The Deceiver would like for you to rush through your life and pay no attention to the still small voice whispering into your ear to slow down. Your children’s childhood is a short time compared to their adult life. Don’t squander it thinking you’re providing for them financially when all they want is your attention and heart. Don’t look for love outside your marriage and family. If it’s been hard in your relationships, slow down and remember a time when it was really good. Date them again. Treat them like a boyfriend or girlfriend. Even if it’s not your fault. Do it anyway. Your job isn’t killing you. Your attitude might. Humble yourself and listen to God. You may be in the position you’re in for Him and not for you. Think long and hard about how you respond to people before you actually speak. Learn to wait. Practice.
Sunday introduces the second week of Advent. Wait is our word. Israel waited more than 400 years to hear from God. Imagine what was built during that time of silence. Then, imagine finally hearing the good news. We can still hear it today and we don’t need angels or shepherds to tell us. We can hear it now. You might discover that God has been patiently waiting for you to listen.
But those who wait on the Lord, Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31