We want it now. Yesterday. Last week. We want to be where we are going, we want to possess what we desire. Let’s pretend today that we do! Today we woke up and we have it “all together”. We are full of energy, right out of bed, we pray and read our bible right on schedule, and if we have a family, they are perfect, cheery, cooperative, neat and polished. We eat only what is healthy, and only what our bodies require. We practically bounce through our day, we workout the exact amount of time, in the exact right way, to achieve the exact right results. We are kind and gentle to everyone, we smile and wave at complete strangers, who, as a result, go home and are good to their families. We are never angry or tired, upset, or selfish. We love everyone and everyone loves us, the bills are always paid, we have abundance and give out of it…. In the words of particular plastic Lego guy, “Everything is awesome!”
Ok, now let’s really wake up. Do we really want to achieve a plastic reality? Do we really want it today? There is a good reason why we shouldn’t. The Word says, “It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lam. 3:26)”. It is good that we should wait? Hmm. Quietly? Really?
The thing is our idea of a perfect reality is part of the problem. What we often don’t realize is that it is in the walking, it is in the stretching, it is in the suffering, and it is in the waiting that God does His work. This is not our “idea” of what the destination should look like. Ephesians talks about the body growing up in all aspects into Him who is the head, into Christ. It also says that in turn as each of us grows and functions according to our place in Him, the body of believers then builds itself up in love (4:15-16). These are active statements, they are not written in past tense. Each of us is being form fitted as we grow in Him and into each other. It is a process.
1 Timothy tells us to, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness (6:12). There is a reason this life is called a walk; it’s called a race. We fail ourselves if we idealize an end of our own making, a perfect goal of our own imaginations. We can actually create an idol of achievement, and thereby fail to remain under, to be perfected by His grace, in His timing, directed by His will, right now. We shout out complaint when time after time we fail to live up to this homemade ideal. We fail to remain silent.
Paul clearly tells us in 2 Corinthians 6, “But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love.” And in James, we are reminded that we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. And as with the steadfastness of Job, we have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (Jam. 5:11)
So today let us not cheat ourselves. Let us tear down our idols of perfection and let us worship REAL perfection. Let us let God be God and acknowledge that His ways are not ours. Let us turn off the film in our minds about what we want to be, and allow Him to change us THROUGH this life. Let us listen to Paul in Ephesians 4 when he urges us “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
It is today. Let us rejoice and be glad in it, and with the Psalmist we can patiently declare, “ I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope; (Ps 130:5)