Everyone is in
a hurry to get somewhere, do something, be somebody, and experience
what they want. This is very dangerous and not just from
natural safety issues. Being in a hurry wanting everything
fast greatly increases the temptation to sin in some
way. There are always "short-cuts" and "compromises"
that the devil offers people in any area of life. If a person
is willing to sin, there will always be an opportunity to sin.
If a person can be "bought" at any price, he or she
usually will be.
The issue is "immediate
gratification" versus "delayed gratification."
People's natural tendency is to "want it now."
This has led to immense levels of crime and immorality in our
nation. I read recently that the percentage of children currently
born outside of marriage is between 25% to 33% (depending on
the demographic group). "Why wait?" is the
prevailing thought among American teenagers. They simply want
the benefits of marriage faster.
But what is the
"fruit" of this fast-paced mentality? In addition
to the obvious problems and visible damages, there are the less
obvious issues like stress, frustration, anger, tension, and
disappointment that comes from not moving toward goals or getting
things as fast as people imagine they want to. This results
in much higher rates of depression, mental illness, and health
problems than people would otherwise experience. People have
artificially-induced emptiness and dissatisfaction because others
have achieved certain kinds of things faster, bigger, better,
So what does the
Bible say in these areas? Some pertinent scriptures to give
us wisdom include the following. On competing with others: "We
dare not... compare ourselves... But they... comparing themselves
among themselves, are not wise." (2nd Cor. 10:12-14).
"But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. For
not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends."
(2nd Cor. 10:17-18). "All things are lawful for me,
but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me,
but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each
one the other's well-being." (1st Cor. 10:23-24).
On waiting for the Lord: "Indeed, let no one who
waits on You be ashamed; let those be ashamed who deal treacherously
without cause." (Psa. 25:3). "Our soul
waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield."
(Psa. 33:20). "I wait for the LORD... and in His
word I do hope." (Psa. 130:5). "For
since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived
by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts
for the one who waits for Him." (Isa. 64:4). "Wait
on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your
heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!" (Psa. 27:14).
"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do
not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of
the man who brings wicked schemes to pass." (Psa.
37:7). "For evildoers shall be cut off; but those
who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth."
(Psa. 37:9). "Wait on the LORD, and keep His way,
and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked
are cut off, you shall see it." (Psa. 37:34). "My
soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from
Him." (Psa. 62:5). "For the LORD is
a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him."
(Isa. 30:18). "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."
(Isa 40:31). On having patience: "The
ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard
the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit
with patience." (Luke
8:15). "By your patience possess
your souls." (Luke 21:19). "But
you, O man of God, ...pursue... patience." (1st
Tim. 6:11). "Men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound
in... patience." (Titus 2:2). "Imitate
those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
(Heb. 6:12). "But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
God is seldom in
a hurry. It is true that we should not be lazy or procrastinate,
and there are windows of opportunity when we must act. But the
Israelites were deceived into a bad covenant with the Gibeonites
because they were in a hurry (Joshua
9:3-17). The Israelites even wanted to go back to Egypt
before that, all because it was taking longer to get to their
"promised land" than they had expected.
and other producers of fiction have generated a false and unreal
image of what life is supposed to be like. (You can write a
script to get everything imaginable in 10 minutes!) But that
is psychosis not being in touch with reality. The facts
are that life is often full of difficult, unexciting responsibilities
and challenges. But if a person perseveres in these, he or she
becomes a hero and a highly influential human being. We really
don't respect those who just get a lot in life we respect
those who have given a lot of themselves (those who have had
I know three different
sons of various famous, successful, wealthy people. Nobody talks
much about those sons because they did relatively nothing to
earn the level of success they enjoy. But for a contrast, consider
ten Boom, Abraham
T. Washington, or anyone else who overcame difficult circumstances
with nothing but patience and God. Society gives them great
humanitarian awards and establishes monuments to their lives!
Whatever you are
facing in life, don't give up. With God's help, you can overcome.
You have within you God-given ability to draw strength and help
from Heaven. You can get creative ideas and supernatural assistance
from the Lord. And speaking of Abraham Lincoln, I read this
true story from his life recently (via Hope Ministries of Grand
Rapids, Michigan): "On the front porch of his little country
store in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and Berry, his partner, stood.
Business was all gone, and Berry asked, "How much longer
can we keep this going?" Lincoln answered, "It
looks as if our business has just about winked out."
Then he continued, "You know, I wouldn't mind so much
if I could just do what I want to do. I want to study law. I
wouldn't mind so much if we could sell everything we've got
and pay all our bills and have just enough left over to buy
one book Blackstone's Commentary on English Law
but I guess I can't."
wagon was coming up the road. The driver angled it up close
to the store porch, then looked at Lincoln and said, "I'm
trying to move my family out west, and I'm out of money. I've
got a good barrel here that I could sell for fifty cents."
Lincoln's eyes went along the wagon and came to the wife looking
at him pleadingly, face thin and emaciated. Lincoln ran his
hand into his pocket and took out, according to him "the
last fifty cents I had" and said, "I reckon
I could use a good barrel."
All day long the
barrel sat on the porch of that store. Berry kept chiding Lincoln
about it. Late in the evening, Lincoln walked out and looked
down into the barrel. He saw something in the bottom of it,
papers that he hadn't noticed before. His long arms went down
into the barrel and, as he fumbled around, he hit something
solid. He pulled out a book and stood petrified: it was Blackstone's
Commentary on English Law. Lincoln later wrote, "I
stood there holding the book and looking up toward the heavens.
There came a deep impression on me that God had something for
me to do and He was showing me now that I had to get ready for
it. Why this miracle otherwise?" (And like they say,
the rest is history.)