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Spirituality of Waiting

I’m currently in Portland, OR–my favorite city–and I forgot about the speed limits. While I can cruise around the freeways of Arizona at speeds over 70 mph, it’s 55 and below here. Not to mention the 25 mph average speed on the city streets, generally slowed down by bikers, pedestrians, and people driving with espresso in one hand. Compared to Arizona, it feels like a crawl.

Moving slower is frustrating. We live in a culture defined by speed. With ever-increasing technology and the ubiquitous reach of the Internet, we can get whatever we want immediately. Fast food, drive-thru coffee, high-speed Internet, 4G cell phone networks. Speed is equated with freedom. If I can have it faster, then I can get to doing whatever I wanted sooner. When faster is a cultural value, slow is a cultural taboo.

So how does a culture infatuated with speed learn to wait?

Scripture says that God is love, and that love is patient; he is slow to anger and abounding in love. God is a God who waits. He operates on a different timetable than Google. He can act more quickly than anything or anyone–he’s outside of time, after all–but chooses instead to enter our world as a human being in Christ, then take 30 long years to grow up and begin His ministry. He’s taken over two millennium to come back and establish His kingdom.

In our culture of rapidity, what would it look like to embrace a spirituality of waiting?

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joelmayward@churchleaders.com'
Joel Mayward is a pastor, writer, youth worker, and film critic. The author of three books, he has written for numerous ministry publications, including Christianity Today, Christ and Pop Culture, Leadership Journal, YouthWorker Journal, Immerse Journal, The Youth Cartel, and LeaderTreks. You can read his musings on film, theology, and culture at his personal blog, www.joelmayward.com. For his film reviews and essays, check out www.cinemayward.com. Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelmayward.