How I Swapped Anxiety For Patience

So we have made it to 2017, a year that sounded pretty futuristic when we were still in the early 2000’s and boy has a lot changed since then. We are now living in a time where a man with no political experience has been elected and inaugurated as president of the United States. I think 2016 there was a secret memo sent out telling people to say what they really mean, be public about how they truly feel, and now we are bearing the aftermath of that.

Somehow Britain has agreed to leave the EU and Americans have elected Trump while The rest of us have watched in a place somewhere between bemusement and horror. Has the world gone mad? Trump’s policies have clearly taken a veer down the alley of ‘what on Earth are you thinking’ and what has been truly surprising is the attitude of Christians to this pubic discrimination of muslims. I see Christian celebrities sharing stats of Christians that have been persecuted in predominantly Muslim countries which begs the question: Are we now in a holy war that justifies all this? I think not.

As an onlooker anxious about the future of planet Earth which I love so much, I have come to accept that this madness won’t be fixed in a day. This year, we, the church need to be prepared for action and to exhibit patience. 

How can we be patient when today is piling on anxiety for tomorrow?

Two questions that have plagued my mind this week. Where am I going and why am I I in such a rush to get there? Maybe it’s just me that has this problem but I’m always dodging in an out of people dragging their feet so I can commute in record time. I see the bus is over 10 minutes away so I’m ordering an Uber home. My most frequent destinations are home and work and at neither of those places will arriving 3 minutes earlier make a real difference. So why the rush?

We live in an instant world. Instant messaging, instant information and instant noodles. We therefore live in a state of constant impatience. The adverts have come on during a programme we’re watching so we switch the channel in search of a distraction while we wait for those gruelling 4 minutes until the show comes back from the break. We are constantly in search of something to fill any absences of entertainment with the biggest distraction being the mobile phone on which I type this post. If we aren’t scrolling through Instagram, twitter, Facebook, snapchat, what are we doing? We are constantly bored and constantly preoccupied usually with nothing of substance and definitely nothing life changing.

So what happens when we encounter a God who’s working off his own time scales where one day is like a thousand years and Donald Trump’s presidency seems to already have dragged on too long? How do we fit in the schedule of God who believes there’s a lesson to be learned in waiting. I think back to the Israelites in search of their God promised land on a journey that stretched from 40 days to 40 years. I think to Abraham that waited for his God promised child till he was 100 years old. Can you imagine that, waiting for a child when your wife is 90 and is far past child-bearing age? Biblical characters are real people like you and I, wondering when God is going to come through, trying to exert patience over their frustration.

I guess everyone has thrown patience to the wind in search of short cuts to getting rich, losing weight, finding the love of their lives, it has to be now because if not now when? The thought of that uncertain future where we have no control of ‘when’ is so alarming everyone is on a fast tracked route to happiness.

Unfortunately for us, God hasn’t jumped on our bandwagon. He isn’t a God of quick fixes and lessons skimmed. God is fully aware that the journey is just as important as the destination and likes to take the scenic route. So what does that mean for us? A process of him moulding us to be in his image, a process of learning what the Bible has to say and using God’s standard as our benchmark. Change is a p r o c e s s. We submit to Christ daily and we slowly become the new creation we have been promised when we give our lives to God. Leaders come and go but we need to show the love of Christ regardless of who is in power. That means loving your Muslim neighbour, continuing to send aid to war torn countries regardless of the religion of citizens and taking everything to God in prayer.

God is love, we need to be active in our pursuit of spreading love.

Love Dani x