God's not in a hurry
Jesus’s disciples felt the tension of wanting to get where they were going more quickly. In fact, in their struggle, they often tried to get Jesus to more rapidly advance himself onto the throne, to reveal himself and his divinity before it was time. It was so tempting that even Jesus’s mother fell victim to it.
All of them were at a wedding at Cana in Galilee when the wine ran out. Scripture says that Jesus’s mother approached him, concerned over what that would mean for the host’s family. It was disgraceful to run out of wine while guests were still present. Jesus’s mother knew what would help. She called her son near and said, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:3–4). Still, Jesus’s mother pressed in until Jesus instructed the servants to fill the wine jars with water and give them to the master of the banquet. When the servants drew the water out, it became wine.
Jesus turned water into wine even though it wasn’t his time yet. The many miracles that were ahead for him and his family would pave his road to the cross, but in a moment of panic, his mother outs him and fast-tracks his plans.
Being content with where we are while embracing the tension of where we head is a real thing, and it’s okay to dance in that tension. We can look forward to what’s ahead while appreciating what is now, both at the same time.
When the only objective in your life is to get to your next destination, you miss out on the impact of your current situation. On the other side of my left turn, I began to realize how quickly I had been running. It took months to slow down my breathing and steady my heart. I was running so fast that I actually lost sight of the amazing things happening around me every day. I didn’t want to get to the end of this, look back, and realize I was running from the very place I was intended to be.
Overbooked and Overlooked The pace of life for me at the mega church was fast. I moved quickly from one thing to the next, constantly cramming too many meetings into a day. I found my significance in an overbooked and overly busy schedule. I worshiped the god of time. He did not bend to me; I bent to him. He controlled me, overworked me, and still somehow always seemed to disappoint me. He kept me on my phone attending to someone else’s issue while holding up a finger, ignoring my own. I put aside the things I loved to do for the things time loved me to do. If fun was profitable, fine, but if fun was just fun, then I didn’t have time.
I was going somewhere and actually on pace to get there quickly. I believed arriving at this unknown destination would give me more of something I didn’t have but obviously needed. Maybe you get what I am talking about. Maybe you are living for the day you are finally married or have kids out of diapers. Maybe you hope for your toddlers to be more independent or for your teenagers to grow up and be more responsible. I have friends having babies and friends who just sent both of their grown boys into the real world and are experiencing the reality of an empty nest. One thing remains the same across the board.
Time doesn’t slow down. We do.
And so we can wait for something outside of us to change so something inside of us can change. Or we can turn left, follow Jesus off the beaten path, and become a person who rests well, knowing that sometimes in our rest, the most important work is taking place.
Time moved very slowly at the Hose House. It was foreign to me. People were always outside, sitting on their porches. People were present. At first I struggled in the sitting. When I struggled, I worked. I cleaned, prepped the walls for paint, or reorganized the broken furniture. I did whatever I could to not just sit. Eventually, the pace of slow got the best of me, and I learned to just be present.
Dave learned, too, and he is the busiest person I know. His capacity to fill life is more than anything I’ve ever seen. He honestly gets more done in a day than I sometimes do in a week. But he was different at the Hose House. After he lost his job at the mega church, he told me he was committing to not working for the rest of the summer—three months. He said he knew that was part of his invitation from the Father, to rest his way into the next season. I’m still shocked that he did it. In fact, he actually did it so well that sometimes I couldn’t get him to do what I needed him to do.
It makes me think of how a pendulum swings. When it’s dropped, it swings high to each side, going back and forth and back and forth until the momentum dies down and it ends up perfectly centered. This is how it works with hurry. When we live in the fast lane and drive at the speed of light, always rushing from one thing to the next, our left turn into the alley can feel like an abrupt change of pace. Swinging high to the other side isn’t the problem. I think the Father sometimes swings us high to the other side so we can experience rest in its entirety, only to eventually rhythmically lead us into a more middle place of posture.