We want results. And we want them fast. The trouble is we often have to wait. Whether in traffic, at the deli counter, at the pharmacy, at a restaurant, in a conversation or for a website to load—we have to wait for things.
This is a problem for most of us. We tend to not like to wait. Conditioned by the technological improvements of our microwave society, we have a reflex where we feel entitled to expediency.
As a pastor, I feel this pinch of impatience in a pronounced way. Pastors work all week long putting their heart, mind and soul into their teachings for the week. Every time we open the Bible to preach God’s Word, we feel as though it is the most important thing that we have ever said and will ever say. Preaching and teaching the Bible is an urgent and important matter. Like the Old Testament prophets, we have a tremendous burden from the Lord that needs to be preached, heard, received and applied.
But here is the tension: We go to bed on Sunday night and wake up Monday morning and nothing has changed. We meet with the same people during the week and they seem like the same people. We see them again on the next Lord’s Day and they still seem the same. We want to microwave sanctification but we can’t. It takes time; oftentimes a lifetime.
This is why one of the most important decisions that the preacher will make each week will come on Sunday night before he goes to sleep. He has to be able to close his eyes patiently trusting that God will work. In the parable of the soils we see the helpful reminder that the sower goes to sleep each day and then eventually he sees growth.
“And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.” (Mark 4.26–27″>Mark 4:26–27, ESV)