Have you browsed popular books lately? You might be surprised what you will find, including titles like The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, Getting Things Done, Think and Grow Rich, and other time management, stress-relievers. Even Christian books are getting into the “compress your spirituality into short, manageable segments” mode—small spiritual capsules that produce painless growth and ultimate victory.
Planet Earth must be spinning on its axis faster these days, because it is no illusion that things are moving faster. Stop surfing the internet for a few minutes and watch an old black and white movie. You get bored quickly with the slow- moving action, right? Flip on a TV news channel and you not only get the reporter giving you the news, but you have a headline banner giving you breaking news. The action is fast and furious.
Today we are programming our lives, compressing hours into minutes, and expecting instant results and immediate gratification or success. But, here is the kicker—does it really work? Or does it only hasten the crash that eventually comes when you, like a juggler, put more and more crystal balls in the air and you finally hit the point of overload and your world comes apart?
“God, why did you do this to me?” we then ask, pointing our finger at Him as though our overload was the result of a defect in His workmanship or he was deaf to our SOS for help.
Take a look at a diamond—a tiny piece of carbon that was generated by intense pressure and perhaps heat in the depths of the earth, and was eventually found, carefully cut and polished and is a gem of great price. Yes, I know, that scientific technology can now mimic the real thing, but it just isn’t the same.
The great oak that grows so majestically or the giant redwood which was a sapling about the time that Columbus sailed the ocean blue–do they not tell you something about the fact that some things simply take time—perhaps centuries– to produce beauty and majesty?
“Ah,” I can anticipate your thinking, “I do not have centuries. I do not have years. I have only a few hours to get this report done, or this sales presentation put together, or to get lunches fixed and to get ready to go to the office.”
So who is to blame when we attempt to do the impossible? Or even more important, what do we do besides look for the book that tells you how to compress more and more into less and less time?
Turn to Psalm 46 in your Old Testament and meditating on the wisdom of the Almighty. Listen to His voice saying, “Be still and know that I am God.” There is an expression that contains a great deal of truth: “Old so soon; smart so late.” Perhaps it is part of wisdom or it just comes with experience. But learning that you can’t do it all is one of the keys to focusing on what you can do. Like a kid with a fistful of coins at a candy store, the years of your life are spent very quickly and there is no going back, so ask with the Psalmist to “number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
In a sense, you are a project under construction. You are his handiwork, a person becoming what He wants. Please be patient; He’s still polishing the stone.
Resource Reading: Psalm 46
Text: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – August 28, 2017