In the affluent West, everything is literally at our fingertips.
Our phones give us instant access to anything we might need or want. Our homes are located near all the food we could eat. Even relationships – though they certainly don’t come with guarantees – are only a click away.
Our society of instant gratification, many have argued, has impacted on our stress levels and our ability to listen and have patience with others.
I don’t think ‘wanting it now’ is anything new, even though perhaps we’re indulged and pandered to far more than we’ve ever been. The challenge, whether it’s with food, relationships, technology, or careers, is to become aware of our impatience and learn how to cope when we can’t have what we want right away.
Because where is the true delight – the reward – in having it all, all at once? And what do you do when things don’t happen at the click of a finger?
I’ve known many people who’ve endured the heartache of infertility. There’s a very real agony in seeing everyone around you falling pregnant without a problem when you’ve waited years, gone through the emotional rollercoaster of IVF, and lost so much. My friends have felt very powerless in the grieving, waiting and wondering.
And for many, the desire for a life partner can be all-consuming. It’s hard when there are no guarantees you’ll find someone. If only it were that simple… And even when you do enter a relationship, you just don’t know how it will work out.
The key is working out what we do have control over, and what we simply have to entrust to God.
We really can’t let go of our fears unless we first slow down and acknowledge the love of God in our everyday lives. Focusing on the sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross, as well as all the everyday love gifts he offers us, builds thankfulness in us. And thankfulness builds trust.
Perhaps we don’t have answers to the big questions about that diagnosis, or that financial problem, or that love interest. But we can ‘count the ways’ He loves us.
And it takes mindfulness to do that. Learning the art of slowing down, taking in, breathing in the gifts of everyday… That takes commitment and focus. But it can be done. Because when we start to really notice and appreciate the little things, sometimes the big things kind of sort themselves out anyway.
Proverbs 13:12 says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
We’ve all had to wait for things, and for many of us, there’s been much to heal from as well. But we cannot start to live again unless we walk afresh in the steps of Jesus. To join Him in a slow dance, if you will.
May all our longings be fulfilled in Him, the true tree of life. His light, love and wisdom is enough to fill every moment. If only we have eyes to see and a heart that’s willing to follow in His footsteps…