Waiting is the Hardest Part
Not long ago, Jenine and I walked into a local Jack in the Box, and we were surprised to see a separate kiosk from which a patron could order if he didn’t want to wait in line to talk to an actual person. (I know what you’re thinking: What possessed you to eat lunch at Jack in the Box? I’d have an easier time explaining the Trinity than answering that question.)
But this is a fast-growing trend. I just read an article this week in USA Today that revealed McDonald’s plans to open 1,000 new restaurants worldwide, and many will be equipped with self-service ordering systems.
Now, I’m not against expeditious food service or line-free ordering, but I do fear that our natural proclivity toward impatience is being pumped with steroids because, in part, of the speed at which we get the things we want. We are so used to pushing a button or even just making a voice command, and we are instantly accommodated.
Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m no Luddite. There are plenty of incredible benefits of technology. With Bluetooth, for example, I can call a friend, search for a song on my iPhone, and probably even take a selfie, all while driving (for the record, I’ve never tried the latter).
But here’s what’s happened: we have amalgamated so many cultural values to our everyday lives—one of those values being speed—that it’s become almost impossible for us to wait. For anything. And we want in the spiritual domain exactly what we have in the technological domain: instant gratification.
We’re not interested in persisting. And we’re certainly not interested in discipline.
Well, prayer is a discipline. It takes focus and patience. Martin Luther called prayer “the hardest work of all,” because it’s a spiritual act, done in the spiritual realm, where real, intense battles take place.
That said—at the risk of sounding melodramatic—tonight we go to war. Tonight we engage in spiritual battle, appealing to the Lord to hear us and answer our prayers. It will take effort and focus, but we believe that God will attend to our pleas.
Will you join us at 7:00 p.m., in Heritage Hall? It’s a small investment (only one hour), but the reward could be incredible because “we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for” (1 John 5:14-15).
See you tonight,