In my youth I fractured my thumb in a minor motorcycle accident. It was a Saturday, and I sat in the hospital waiting room for four hours before I was seen by a medical professional. On the wall was a sign advising patients to contact their family doctor in case of an emergency. First, I thought it strange because no self-respecting doctor could be contacted after 4pm on a Friday in those days. Then I thought it ironic because I was surrounded by the sick and the injured in what we all know as an Emergency Room.
Of course, impatience in such situations is a waste of time and energy. The staff are overworked and complaining cannot make anything go any faster anyway.
That is not to say that impatience is always bad. Some things must not be left to chance or circumstance.
1. Paul says: “Behold, now is “The acceptable time,” behold, now is “The day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
2. If you find yourself stuck in a bad deal of somebody else’s making, scripture strongly advises: “…Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids; deliver yourself…” (Proverbs 6:1-5).
3. When fleshly temptations are up-close-and-personal, you are told to “Flee…and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
Knowing when to move and when to wait is not always clear cut. However, if there is sin or unnecessary discomfort involved, it is best to move now rather than later.
It is Jesus’ return that sets our attitudes in all things. If we are continually re-calibrating our daily events and interactions with Jesus’ sudden and unannounced return in mind, we will be less likely to waste time. The obviously important things will get done and for the rest we wait upon the Lord.
I asked a friend what he remembered most about his compulsory military service. He said, “The first thing they teach you to do is to ‘Hurry up and wait.’”