Ask those who know me really well, and they will confirm for you, I’ve never been a very patient person. My kids learned their driving habits from me, so I’ve no one to blame but myself when they drive too fast. I used to drive really fast, and loose, and a little on the edge. I’m older and wiser now, but occasionally I’ll still need to lighten up on the accelerator, if you know what I mean. This lack of patience sometimes leaks over into other aspects of my past, present, and future.
I was so in a hurry to get through college, so that I could go on to Seminary. I knew I was headed there, so why focus on the now, when where I really want to be is there. In Seminary I was always in a hurry to get through each semester, so I could graduate, and get on with being a Pastor. Unfortunate circumstances (translation life-interruptus) caused there to be a 20 year hiatus on finishing that degree. I spent most of that 20 years in the computer industry as a career, and serving my ministry desires through lay-ministry in the church we attended at the time.
When I finally got the opportunity to go into ministry full time, and later finish my Master of Divinity education, then a Doctor of Ministry degree, I pursued each of these with the same vigor and lack of patience as before. I’ve been a driven person most of my life, always trying to go faster, faster, faster. I wasn’t trying to run ahead of God, so much as I just wanted to get there faster.
It reminds me a little of the disciples wanting Jesus to quit taking so much time setting up His earthly kingdom. They asked him after the resurrection, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” [Acts 2:6] They were wanting to get there faster. The reply from Jesus is something we should really focus on here, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;“[Acts 2:7] Part of the problem with having this “faster” mentality is thinking God is just a slow-poke. But Jesus helps them (and us) understand that it isn’t just “kingdom” things that God has fixed in time, but that each minute of our lives is accounted for under God’s sovereign authority. God saw me before I was born. He knows the number of my days. Don’t take my word for it, look at Psalm 139:16 – “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.”
Today, most days, because we think God is a slow-poke, we become impatient about life, always wishing we could get “there” (wherever there is) faster, faster, faster. In fact it’s easy to get all wrapped up in “end of days” mentality, wishing God would get it all over with already, so we can all go be with Him in heaven. Trust me when I say, God isn’t even “nearly” through saving people yet! Peter tells us, “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 3:9] God isn’t about to end human history until all the humans who will be saved… are saved. God’s will is that all come to repentance.
So if you’re one of those who likes to see timelines and deadlines in the Book of Revelation, then let me offer you a small bit of advice. Slow down. Read the book, and study the book differently. It isn’t all about judgment and just getting to heaven. It is about God saving people who will say “yes” to His grace, even in the worst seven-year period of human history… the end of days. I can help you with this, if you’d like. Click to read more. BOOK