The Age of Impatience: Of Wisdom, Radishes, and Watermelons
Preparing for Trinity Sunday: Two Days before Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Psalm 8
Old Testament: Proverbs 3:19-26
Epistle: Ephesians 4:1-6
God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and the beginning of time you are the triune God: the Author of creation, the eternal Word of salvation, and the life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may proclaim all that Christ revealed and rejoice in the glory he shared with us. Glory and praise to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the storm that strikes the wicked; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught (Proverbs 3:24-26).
Social scientists who spend their time studying things I would never think of studying have shown that the average individual in the developed western world is impatient when it comes to even the little things in life. For example:
-When entering an elevator and pushing the button for the desired floor, if the doors do not start to close within 3 to 4 seconds, the average individual will push the button a second and possibly even third time.
-Individuals who regularly pass fast food restaurants during the day while driving, tend to fix quick meals at home at a higher percentage than those who are not so exposed.
Some scientists are now suggesting that our culture of speed, ease, and information overload are even rewiring the twenty-first century human brain toward an impatient disposition. Some skepticism of that claim is certainly in order, but can anyone seriously question that our way of life in the twenty-first century west discourages patience?
Some things take time. As much as we are aware of our impatient culture, we also know that certain things cannot be had overnight. From the time that radish seeds are planted until harvest is three weeks. Some varieties of watermelon take three months. An impatient gardener will likely not plant the latter and simply opt to purchase it in the grocery store.
Proverbs 19:11 states, “Those with wisdom are long on patience.” How many foolish decisions are made when people in a crisis act before thinking. How many times do we wish we were able to reconsider a decision made realizing, after the fact, that we hadn't thought it through sufficiently. I realize that some things require quick action, but patience is indeed a virtue that we need if wisdom is to flourish in our midst; and most importantly, patience with one another in the midst of our daily responsibilities is necessary if we are to relate to one another in a wise way.
After all, God has been extraordinarily patient with each and every one of us.
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