What I’m about to say is nothing you haven’t heard before. People in this modern age want everything and they want it now. But my question is, how does our relationship with God suffer from this way of thinking?
While I realise that the most obvious manifestation of this perspective is found in my millennial generation, it’s spreading rapidly to all ages and in all areas of life.
How dangerous is this way of thinking, and just how much does it cause friction in our relationship with God?
Our culture’s craving
As I had mentioned, during the rise of the digital age, people more and more began to expect everything to handed to them instantly.
It’s something that’s started out as harmless convenience. Who doesn’t love receiving a parcel on your doorstep the day after you order it? What’s the harm in having technology that’s lightning fast? Nothing it seems, at least not on the surface.
The truly scary thing is how we’ve taken the desire for speed and convenience and have now applied it to all areas of our lives.
We want love and meaningful connection, and we want it now. So, we rapidly swipe left and right on Tinder during our lunch breaks.
We expect instant success in our careers without putting in the hours. We try to cheat our way to the top, or get frustrated and quit shortly after things don’t go our way.
And then, without realising it, we want to hear from God right this second, tossing the practice of, “waiting on the Lord,” out the window.
Do you see how fast it evolves from basic convenience to interfering with every area of our life? While speed isn’t necessarily the enemy, it is when we apply it to important relationships, and our journeys with the Lord.
I’m not saying this to be judgemental, or to write yet another article bashing millennials, but rather to say I can completely relate with this way of thinking, and it’s not something I’m necessarily proud of.
Over the past year or so, it seems as though God has given both my husband and myself clear vision as to what to pursue. They’re skills and gifts that we hope will become our long-term careers, and that we can integrate into our ministries.
Yet, over these past few months I’ve noticed I’ve been frustrated with God. Unconsciously, I’ve taken those promises and long-term dreams that He’s given us, and expected them to unfold right away.
I get tired and overwhelmed with the amount of work needed to build a strong foundation. I’m confused when it seems like God isn’t answering our prayers or making things an easy and fast progression. I compare us to other couples our age who seem to have it all together - fulfilling careers, a home to grow a family in, finances to travel and do missions.
Without even being conscious of it, I’ve allowed myself to get caught in the world’s way of thinking and behaving. Quickly, I end up comparing my journey to others, expecting it to look the same. I’ve wanted everything to happen instantly, and questioned God’s goodness and character.
The more I communicate with God and study His word, the more I can understand how He views time. The desire for instant gratification just doesn’t match up, and it’s time we start taking notice.
A verse that I’ve found really encapsulates this is Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 11 which says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
What a precious reminder of God’s inherent goodness and His eternal perspective for us to come back to. A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, so who are we to demand for instant results from Him? I’m reminded yet again that we need to be in the world and not of it. Choosing to focus on God’s eternal timing as opposed to the world’s desire for instant gratification is a great place to start.
God sees the bigger picture, the eternal picture that we can’t even fathom. While we may choose to make our own plans based on how we expect things to go, His timing is perfect.
Miranda Menelaws is a Canadian freelance writer. During her spare time, she can be found travelling the globe in search of a new story to tell, or writing about her adventures on her blog.
Miranda Menelaws’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/miranda-menelaws.html