Every time I am in the car with Fr. Brad and we come to the corner at the end of our neighborhood, if Fr. Brad has to wait to turn left for more than 20 seconds, he declares that we have been waiting for at least 10 minutes and the cure for this horrendous waste of time is that the city should put a traffic light at that corner. Given the hyperbole, it caused me to examine how much I do the same thing, not only at that corner, but often in so many other ways of everyday life (slow computer or internet connection; people who don’t respond to texts right away; the line at the supermarket). Immediacy is addictive!
There are certain places where immediacy is great: getting supplies to refugees; transporting the injured to the hospital; recognizing my rudeness quickly and saying I’m sorry. But some things take time and can’t really be rushed: pregnancy; maturity; farming. This Sunday’s second reading from the Letter of James calls us to be patient until the coming of the Lord. But my sense is that too many of us are impatient for all the wrong things. Are we even impatient for the coming of the Lord?
In so many ways we have satisfied our needs so immediately that the “need” for a savior has fallen not to the back burner – it may be on no burner: is there a burning desire for this Savior for which we can’t wait – we need to patiently wait? The rationale for the call to patience by James is simple: we are still not ready for Him. God is slowly working on us and we still have work to do. May we take the few days that remain before the coming of the Lord to recognize that the time is now. There is some blessing to the immediacy that we should be fostering in our response to the need for Christ’s coming. May we place a few markers, traffic lights as it were, that slow us down enough to realize that a patient waiting for the King of kings is what we really should be rushing to find more and more in each moment of our everyday lives.
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