Just finished a book called the Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith
I was assigned to read it a chapter at a time starting last September.
I haven't been able to read as much as usual the last few weeks due to my work schedule. (Tax season is over in 10 working days!) After work today, I realized if I grabbed this one I could finish it.
The title of the last chapter is "How to Make a Pickle".
The comparison of us to the creation of a pickle was simple. You can't rush the making of a pickle. You can't rush the transformation of a soul into the image of Christ.
There was a lot more detail than that, but the part that stuck out to me is that we, being a society that is so passionate about instant gratification, have to be convinced that growth in God is normally slow. When we don't accept this, we tend to get inspired to do something that might lead to growth and it doesn't get quick results so we are tempted to conclude there is something wrong with us and give up. Or, we just expect fast and we don't get fast so we lose our inspiration.
Smith even goes so far as to say that hurry or the need to hurry is of the Enemy. He point out that it is possible to go quickly with our movements being based in hurry. Hurry is an action born in fear. Interesting.
Other thoughts to consider from this chapter:
choose to ruthlessly eliminate hurry
remove boredom by choosing observation instead
I do the first by putting cushion between meetings with people. I'm always sorry that I didn't, when I don't. Noticing that helps me plan differently the next time. It also means that I have to be okay with potential downtime between meetings. Thus the need for a purse big enough to carry a book at all times. :)
I have learned to be more observant. My primary teacher in this has been Dave. A good photographer is a good observer.
I plan my schedule around making time to read, pray and exercise. I think about the rhythms of my family and avoid scheduling things on a regular basis that might interrupt that rhythm to much. That took a while for me to learn. It was painful for all of us until I learned it.
This chapter was a reminder to trust God and leave room for his sense of timing. An encouragement that I needed to hear...brought me back from fear to faith.
Tomorrow is Easter. Talk about a day for celebrating God's sense of timing. God's doesn't arrive to early and doesn't move to late. I'll be pondering that tomorrow.