One of my weaknesses is my tendency to do things slowly.
I like slow. I like deliberate. I like to think about what I’m doing and enjoy the moment.
When I worked at IRBC, I loved my job as the photographer because I was never in a rush to be anywhere after meals. I could sit down and eat for 50 minutes. Dining hall girls were gone after 15 minutes, dishroom guys were gone after 22, and lifeguards departed around the 30-minute mark. I’d eat until I got lonely and then I’d leave. Being given 20 minutes to eat as Contender last year was so painful.
When I took exams in college, I always used the full hour, carefully thinking through each answer and re-checking them all at the end. I never could figure out how people finished exams in 25 minutes.
When I’m driving, I drive the speed limit or a little under when I have time to spare. I like looking out my windows and observing everything and everyone as I travel.
But being slow also lends to procrastination and a failure to show up on time for various events. It’s also really hard to do 1,600 pages of reading and write 20-page papers in seminary when you do everything slowly. Obviously, these are things I need to address and seek to improve.
Nevertheless, I have learned that the adage, “Haste makes waste,” is often true. In the past I have done many things quickly and overly ambitiously only to experience wasted time, energy, and resources. That’s one of the reasons I tend to take my time today when I do things.
So although being slow is a weakness, I think it’s also a strength. Obviously, almost any strength can also be a weakness when taken to an extreme.
God has especially used the last 7 years to remind me that He also is in no rush. After all, God literally exists outside time because He created it, and He has complete control over it.
2 Peter 3:8 says, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Imagine if time was like that for us. Imagine if only one hour was like a single minute to you. Every restaurant would be a fast-food restaurant!
But in our fast-paced society with fast food, Amazon Prime, and 4G data, some things still take time. A LOT of time (at least from our perspective).
After graduating from high school, I took a year of online college classes before attended Faith Baptist Bible College. While most of my friends went off to college right away, I stayed home. It’s a decision I don’t regret, and God used that year at home to provide me with different ministry opportunities I otherwise would not have had.
In my blog post, “Sports at a Bible College? Why? – Part 1,” I explained why I chose not to play soccer during my first year at Faith, even though I really love sport.
Even though I transferred 43 hours of college credit into Faith, I still took four full years of college classes there before graduating with my bachelor’s degree. Why? Because there were several other classes that I knew would benefit me, even though they were not in my program (Pastoral Studies). In fact, I was only two classes away from getting a music minor because I took so many music classes.
Whereas most of my classmates graduated and went directly into the workplace or full-time ministry, I stayed behind with a few others to take three years of seminary. Why? Because I believe I will be best equipped to study and disseminate the gospel in my life and ministry by receiving an additional three years of quality Bible training.
Next week will be my half-birthday, marking 25 1/2 years since my birth, and unlike many of my peers, I’m still single. In fact, I attended a wedding of a good friend last weekend, and I will photograph the wedding of another good friend this upcoming weekend, and both of them are younger than me. Several of my friends my age or younger already have one or two children.
Finally, I believe God wants me to plant churches in the US, a career that is not glamorous. From what I have learned from others and am now experiencing in my internship here in Bennington, NE, church planting is extremely hard work, and often the results come slowly. If I really want to do this long-term, it literally will be long-term.
Most churches these days don’t grow like weeds…they grow like cacti in the middle of a desert.
However, even though my life is short (James 4:14), I am encouraged to know that God has a plan for me, and if He takes His time to accomplish His will in me, I would be foolish to rush ahead of Him (Proverbs 16:9).
Right now I am fascinated by the topic of prayer, and I decided to read about George Muller, a great man of prayer. I am reading Dr. Arthur T. Pierson’s George Muller of Bristol. Published in 1899 shortly after Muller’s death, it’s a great biography, written with the help of Muller’s son-in-law, James Wright. You can read it for free online, and you can also download it for free in Kindle format from Amazon.
Yesterday I came across this quote from Pierson in the second paragraph of chapter three: “He who would work with God must first wait on Him and wait for Him, and that all undue haste in such a matter is worse than waste. He who kept Moses waiting forty years before He sent him to lead out captive Israel, who withdrew Saul of Tarsus three years into Arabia before he sent him as an apostle to the nations, and who left even His own Son thirty years in obscurity before His manifestation as Messiah – this God is in no hurry to put other servants at work. He says to all impatient souls: ‘My time is not yet full come, but your time is always ready'” (Pierson, 25).
Forty years of preparation for Moses in addition to forty years even before that.
Three years for Saul, a man already well-educated in the scriptures.
Thirty years for Christ, God in the flesh.
People often ask me what I want to do with my life and when. People often ask me when I’m going to get married and to who. I joke with people at FBBC&TS about how old I am compared to all the students fresh out of high school.
25 years old…what am I waiting for? The answer: God. Why? Because He’s in no hurry.
God has given me peace about where I am and what I’m doing, so I am content.
If you’re trying to rush God on anything, just slow down, and let Him take His time because it’s literally his time. One thousand years to him is only like a day. Perhaps He wants only a few more seconds before doing exactly what He plans to do.
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12