Would You Hurry Up Already?
Have you ever needed to stop and laugh at yourself when you discover that you’re getting all worked up over something that should never annoy you? I recently turned on my computer in order to quickly check some information, and I found myself needing to make a snack because I didn’t want to sit there and wait as my computer booted up. It was getting on my nerves, and I needed to focus my attention elsewhere. Just how long did my computer take to fully power on? It lasted a whopping 56 seconds… What is the deal here? As it turns out I’m not alone in my difficulty to wait and focus on a goal. According to the Associated Press the average attention span in 2012 only lasts for about 8 seconds! If you think that’s bad, listen to this. The average attention span of a gold fish is longer at 9 seconds! We certainly live in a “fast-food” society where we want everything right now. If we can’t get it, then we just go somewhere else that will deliver the goods quicker.
This sad reality doesn’t automatically turn itself off in regards to a Christian’s anticipation of their future reward of heaven. Sometimes when we experience a rough patch in our lives we might cry out, “Lord, if you could come back now that’d be great!” It can be very difficult to patiently await Christ’s return; especially when we’ve endured all the world can throw at us. After all, that promise was made over 2,000 years ago…what’s taking Him so long?
It’s comforting to know that the 1st century Christians experienced these same frustrations. The apostle Peter reminded them, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:8-9 emph. added). Even though we might desire to speed up the process at times, we must remember what’s at stake. God hasn’t brought about the judgment yet because people’s souls will spend an eternity somewhere, and He’s still extending an opportunity for others to respond to His grace before it’s too late.
How can we begin to see this waiting period like God sees it? How can we overcome impatience in our longing for Jesus’ return? Well the answer is pretty simple: we need to get busy! Jesus admonished His disciples in this regard saying, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work,” (John 9:4). This work He speaks of is the very same reason that God has delayed the judgment; He wants people to “come to repentance.” If we each view our primary purpose in this life as helping others turn to God so He can save their souls, then our perspective will change. Then we might find ourselves praying, “Lord, please give us just a little more time to reach the lost.” However, the end is still going to come when we least expect it as Peter continues by saying, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up,” (2 Peter 3:10). If that’s the case, what are we waiting for? We must get the antidote to those lost souls of this world before it’s too late, because at the last day there will be no more time for us to be “impatient.”