Show of hands: how many of you are impatient?
You can tell when a TV show is wrapping up so you’re already clicking “guide” to see what else is on. You swipe an iPad with the speed and precision of an Apple technician. You drive like it’s the Indy 500 and the checkered flag is on the other side of the Starbucks drive-through. You’re not reading this blog, you’re just skimming it.
And when you pray, it’s like stabbing buttons on a microwave. You need something from God in the next 90 seconds and it had better be hot because you don’t want to waste any more time having to go through the process again.
A few years ago, I was speaking at an event and running a little behind on the way to the venue. Susan was with me and we came to a red light with a long line of cars in single file in front of us. On the right was a turn lane; but the day before I’d seen someone use it to shoot ahead of everyone else, cut them off at the last second and continue straight.
So in an effort to please the Lord by arriving on time, I took the turn lane, blew by everyone waiting for the light and shaved half a minute off our drive time. Perfect.
Another mile up the road there was another traffic light. We arrived just as it was turning red. As we came to a stop, one of the drivers I’d passed in my brilliant display of driving prowess got out of his car, walked up to my window and started yelling at me. My wife was terrified. Thankfully, he let it go and got back in his car.
When we arrived at the place I was scheduled to teach, one of the other speakers approached me and said, “I thought that guy was going to kill you! I was ready to get out of my car and defend you.” Turns out, he was a few cars back and saw the whole thing. He saw me act just like Jesus.
Jesus had this habit of slipping away and slowing down just when the action started to heat up. In fact, the bigger the answer to the question “what’s next?” the more unhurriedly and deliberately He seemed to move.
When a fickle crowd wanted to crown Him king, He simply meandered off. After feeding 5,000, He went up in the hills by Himself to pray. And just before He was betrayed and arrested, He spent so long waiting on God that the rest of His friends fell asleep.
What’s next for you? Whatever it is, I’m certainly not suggesting you procrastinate or prolong it. Jesus was never stalling when he slipped away and slowed down. He was just making sure he was ready.
Slip away. Slow down. Then face what’s next.