A woman wrote a postcard while vacationing in New Jersey and mailed it to her mother in Pennsylvania. Some 37 years later, the card arrived. The mother called her daughter to say thanks. “What card?” the daughter asked. The card had been postmarked in Asbury Park, N.J. and the daughter remembered that she had sent her mother a postcard from there in 1967. It seems that shortly after its arrival at the post office, the postcard fell behind a sorting machine and was discovered recently when the machine was moved. The good folks at the post office added a new stamp and sent it on its way. Talk about snail mail!
This story prompted me to reflect about how our contemporary culture views time – and just how much change we’ve experienced in my own lifetime when it comes to those views. Today, we live in a culture that is focused on the here and now – and particularly this very moment. A lot of this has to do with technology, of course. The popularity of new communication technologies in recent years has really had a huge influence! The methods of communication that were once a regular part of life– like letter writing – are close to passing off the scene altogether.
But, a major downside to our instant society is that it gives an illusion that anything and everything should be ours instantly. Our sense of timing has become skewed in this generation. We expect quick resolution to problems that have developed over time and become depressed when things aren’t better in the morning! We simply cannot maintain balanced lives if we expect everything instantly!
Often our impatience over timing spills over into our spirituality. When problems aren’t quickly resolved we get angry at God. When we don’t see growth in our lives as quickly as we desire – we become depressed. We hear about (and some have experienced) God’s ability to change lives and fix problems instantly, but when we don’t see these miracles happening in our lives, we wonder why God doesn’t act on our behalf! But the simple truth is:
Following Christ takes time.
Growing in maturity takes time.
Character building takes time.
Resolving most problems takes time.
Building strong families and relationships takes time.
I encourage you to take the longer view of time. I assure you that God is still on His throne. He is still at work in your life. Understand that God has His own timing (and ours is often different!). Trust that His timing is perfect when it comes to your life.
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1. How has new communication technologies changed your life? Have you become more patient or less patient as a result? Have these technologies changed the way you view time?
2. Is there any area of your life where you find yourself impatient with God? How can having a “longer view” of time help you to work through your impatience?
Exodus 2:23; Romans 5:6; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 12:7
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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