[UPDATE 04.28.18] In the days following this post I came across some problematic interviews/quotes from the author of the post I linked/referenced. I was not aware of them at the time I wrote this. -JD
I blogged in an earlier post (almost a month ago!) about how one of the things I’d always prided about myself was how quickly and efficiently I could get things done. If someone asked me to do something for them, my unspoken goal was to do it at least twice as fast as they expected.
What’s been clear since starting my habit of doing the Examen every morning is that God is calling me out of my chronic impatience to a fundamental attitude of waiting on God.
To not get ahead of myself or try to get ahead of whatever God is slowly working on.
To stop rushing.
To stop wanting to skip over the hard or boring parts, the parts that I’ve been too busy to appreciate and notice.
There are a couple of images that always seem to come to mind whenever I start drifting back into my old habits of rushing ahead and forgetting to wait (and they always make me laugh whenever I picture it in my head).
The first image comes from this description of the kingdom of God:
…it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come (Mark 4:26-29).
If I were the man in this example, my impatience is the equivalent of me standing over the seed and yelling at it to grow faster.
It’s like rushing in to pluck fruit from a tree way before it’s ripe enough to actually enjoy.
And finally (this one’s my favorite so far, courtesy of my husband), it’s like trying to tackle a hard problem by telling 9 women to all birth the same baby in one month.
Guys, being patient is really hard. Especially when my whole way of being has always revolved around competition, being the best, the first one done.
A good friend sent this blog post to me yesterday. I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit told her I needed a little push back in the right direction, because at the point, I honestly hadn’t realized that I had fallen back into my old habits of impatience and rushing until I read it (another reason why having friends who pray for you is so important!).
Here were my favorite quotes:
…the efficiency of speed and directness — is not what [God’s] about. His purpose is to sanctify the traveler, not speed him between A and B. Frustrating human efficiency is one of God’s primary — I say primary, not secondary — means of sanctifying grace.
…remember, you’re not being measured by God by how much you get done. You’re being measured by whether you trust the goodness and the wisdom and the sovereignty of God to work this new mess of inefficiency for his glory and the good of everyone involved, even when you can’t see how.
Spirit, hover over this mess. Give me vision to see things like you do, courage to wait on you when things get hard/scary/boring/confusing/frustrating/any adjective that would keep me from seeing you. Bring order to chaos, vision to blind eyes, hearing to deaf ears so that we might enter fully into the thick of life wherever you are.