The Long Game
I am not a patient person. To the people who know me well, this is not a newsflash. The speed that comes naturally for me is 100 mph as I fly from one event to another. As a homeschooling momma of 3, in full-time ministry – both in my family and in our community – I can appreciate a job done fast and well.
In my mind, I just don’t have the luxury to linger in any one place for long. Laundry, dishes, dinner, and people keep the demands coming and I work hard to stay on top of them all.
I recognize that I am not alone or the first in this fanatic pace setting. Fast is a commodity in our culture. Fast internet, fast computers, fast technology, and fast food. Advertisements herald the myriad of ways we can save time, beat time, and make the most of time…all before we run out of time.
Recently, my computer was giving me “trouble.” I had a few spare minutes between grading papers and fixing dinner to finish editing an article. Yet, every couple minutes, in my flurry of typing, my screen would simply freeze. As though it needed to catch a breath, it would pause for a second or two (or ten) and then resume normal functioning. It broke my rhythm and it was maddening.
As one of my kiddos walked by my desk, they heard me utter a threat (to the computer, not the kid), “I think I might just chuck you out into the side yard if you pause ONE. MORE. TIME!” Grrrr… I don’t like to wait. And apparently, I don’t wait well, either. “Pause” just isn’t one of my natural button options. And even if it was, I am not real sure I would ever deliberately choose it.
But the more I study scripture and lean in to the priorities and character of God, the more I realize that God is totally comfortable with the long game.
Yes, He created the universe in 6 days (and chose the pause/rest button on the 7th day), but much of scripture is an unfolding of His good plans that He set in motion thousands of years ago. Yes, God seems to be pretty comfortable with the long game. And that, quite honestly, blows me away.
The same God that blows me away with the speed at which He began the miracle of life has a vastly different timeline in which to save it.
I mean, think about it. Consider the mystery of the Savior God coming down in the flesh…as a baby. Talk about a long game. Beginning a 30-year journey, culminating with a 3-year active ministry as He moved toward the cross. And that saving work is still in play today, calling people to Himself for thousands of years.
He didn’t have to do it that way. He could have waved His mighty arm and placed the exclamation point on the hearts that belonged to Him. Yet, the provision God ordained from the beginning took, instead, a long, long time to arrive, to develop. And heart by heart, soul by soul, is still making a way.
One day and moment at a time.
He created time, He is not a slave to it.
He unfolds time in a plan that is as perfect as it is deliberate, and He will not be rushed or hurried. And when it comes to my life and yours, I believe He is just as intentional.
Are you in a season of life that just seems endless, hard, or perhaps even pointless? I want to encourage you, it’s not.
He is working. He is unfolding. It’s who He is. It’s what He does. Hang in there. Be patient, sweet friends. There is never a moment when He isn’t working and moving on your behalf. His eye is always upon you. And you don’t have to feel like that for it to still be true. Wait for Him, beloved…for just like that little baby in a manger, He is always worth the long game.
The song I want to share with you today actually inspired this post. I have fallen in love with the poetry and imagery within its lyrics and melody. The song is called, “Seasons,” off the new Hillsong Worship Christmas album, The Peace Project. I’ll warn you, it’s not your typical worship song. But if you will lean in to the words of the song and the meaning, you won’t regret it. (Hint: the bridge is the best part!)
With joy for the journey,