I am a slow processor stuck in a fast machine. Yes, I live amongst a culture that, among other things, demands things very quickly. Think about it. I was recently browsing over new cell phones. For me that would probably mean a new “iPhone,” because, well, I like them and have all the Apple products. One of the commonalities among the “new” stuff is the processor. (By the way, this is the same for Intel, AMD, and the like.) For the “new iPad,” they boast of an A5X chip with quad core graphics. For the iPhone 4s, they stand on a dual-core A5 chip. Obviously, these terms may not mean much to you, and not sure they do to me either. I don’t get the whole “A5” or dual-core…it is beyond me. Apple doesn’t really care if I understand either because as long as I understand it is going to be “FASTER,”…SOLD! Give me bigger, faster, and something that sells itself by proclaiming “world’s first ever…” I’ll be the first to admit, I love the new stuff. I love the faster stuff. Sign me up! You also have the internet speeds going from 3G to 4G LTE. What does the “4” or “G” mean? Not sure. It’s just getting faster and people are demanding it (myself included). Of course, we have the common used illustrations too. Fast food. Drive thru’s. Etc., Etc. This is the society I find myself living in. This is the world I live in. This is the world you live in. Admittedly, I feed off the fast stuff too!! I like it very much. However, I am a slow processor stuck in a world that is setting itself to operate at blazing speeds. These speeds are what I want to be operating at and when I try to operate at them, I crash.
However, in the midst of all of this, I am becoming more comfortable. More comfortable in life. More comfortable in what God has called me to. The pastorate presents it fair share of blessings and issues. The Gospel is more than sufficient in all of these things and it is my conviction that God is glorified to the highest degree as I learn to serve slow. Consider these words from the Word of God. Trust. Wait upon the Lord. Longsuffering. Perseverance. Faithfulness. Patience. Trial. Endures. Tribulation. Hope to come. Glory. Commit. Every one of these words point me to one perspective–GOD. I deeply desire to have a God perspective in life and ministry! I think you see–these words from the scriptures are on the opposite side of the spectrum of the “A5 dual-core” chip!! Some of these words are what that chip tries to escape.
I’m learning that in my Christian walk and in my call to pastor-teach it is OK to be slow, although I feel the constant pressure to produce things fast. Fast church growth. Fast change in church. Fast Bible reading. Fast solutions to church conflict. Fast ways to “prove” myself. These are things that I struggle with. However, in the end God is calling me to Trust. God is calling me to Hope. God is calling me to Wait. I am reminded of Moses instruction from the Lord as the Egyptians were in a red hot pursuit of the children of Israel.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV)
Stand still? Hold your peace? The LORD will fight for you? Pretty simple instruction. Pretty contrary to how my flesh/mind wants to see things played out. I admit, I struggle. I struggle with making people proud. I struggle with making people feel impressed to follow my leadership because I lead through a great battle and we won. I struggle with looking at all the popular books that says if you do X, Y, and Z your leadership will achieve great things. In the end, I am going to strive with all my heart to be slow and follow biblical protocol. I am going to follow the Word of God. Change is slow in most people, and consequently, in the pastorate that God has called me to, much is the same. I am called to lead. I long to follow God’s Word above popular methods and pressures of the culture. This means I must wait on the Lord. How long? Wait. This means I must trust in the Lord. How much? With all my heart. This means I must persevere. How long? Until the day the Lord calls me to Himself. This means I must be faithful. When? When everybody seems to be against me and there are no easy solutions. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I believe in diligence. Yes, I believe that laziness is unacceptable. My problem is when my diligence meets the perfect will of God, and I make diligence my idol.
I am a slow processor stuck in a fast machine. I’m going to strive to live with this, to be OK with this, as hard has it may be. And perhaps my greatest joy is found in that I believe my Lord will be glorified fully, as I learn to turn it all over to Him.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land. Psalm 37:3-9 (ESV)