We’re not too good at waiting, are we? We like stuff fast, don’t we? The Boston Globe published an article by Christopher Muther in February 2013 entitled: “Instant Gratification is making us perpetually impatient.” Evidently there is a price for our hurried, impatient ways. Who knew?
Same-day delivery, high-speed internet, streaming entertainment, grocery home shopping service, fast food, short sermons (how did that get in there?), attraction site e-z passes, smart phones, and other indicators represent a culture not willing to wait.
Muther pointed out: “The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project sums up a recent study about people under the age of 35 and the dangers of their hyper connected lives with what sounds like a prescription drug warning – ‘Negative effects include a need for instant gratification and loss of patience.’”
In reality, few people under 35 have time to read a Facebook post. They have other platforms that are far faster. So I guess this for all us dinosaurs. Our pace is too rushed, too. We have problems waiting, regardless of our age.
The truth is that some things just take time. Building a friendship, growing in your faith, working on your marriage, raising children, honing a craft, gaining wisdom, learning to listen and contemplate … you can add to the list, if you’ll take time to think about it.
Time is too precious to waste, but it’s also too precious to rush through. You can’t always microwave life.
Jesus told a story about a landowner who grew impatient because a tree he had planted wasn’t bearing fruit as quickly as the owner wanted. His gardener wisely told the man that waiting for good fruit was worth it (Luke 13:6-9). We need to be careful that we don’t demand instant gratification when delayed gratification brings rich rewards. Take a deep breath. Wait for it.