It is not anything special for me to say that we live in a microwave society. People have been making that observation for years. Fast food. Instant messages. We’ve all heard the drill. Everything has to be immediate and it has to be awesome because if it is not then we’ll find some other immediately awesome thing. Frankly we don’t have time to wait for anything else.
I wonder sometimes if this culture has affected our faith. What does it do to spiritual development when we live in a world where we expect everything to be immediate? What happens when we emphasize the big decisions and the enormous emotional moments at the expense of the day-to-day stuff? What happens when every worship service has to be the best one ever?
I think about my own faith and I see myself constantly frustrated because my walk with God is far more of a slog than I thought it would be. There have certainly been awesome moments, but I tend to kick myself when my walk with God has not been a blazing light for all to see. Growth is typically gradual. I’m some two plus decades into this following Jesus thing and I’ll still fall flat on my face. Growth is there, but it’s just not as far along as I always feel it should be.
Yet I think that is how it actually is supposed to be. God can do amazing microwave work. God is God after all. Yet it seems more often than not that God is slow. Rather God likes to work in the slow and gradual ways. There is an awful lot of waiting in scripture. Jesus was on earth for roughly 30 years before he did miracle #1 (well unless you subscribe to the infancy narratives). Disciples, prophets, women, and men throughout the Bible mature, stumble, learn, mess up, and move on.
We grow spiritually in a way quite similar to how we grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sure there are growth spurts that bring about rapid and impressive maturation. But that is not the norm in our lives. You and I are going to be spending every breathing moment on earth trying to figure out what it means to follow God. There is no shame in that. I suspect if it were instantaneous then we’d take it for granted.
I am going to make an attempt at not viewing my faith through microwave lens (which sounds incredibly hazardous to an individual’s health). I will try not to kick myself for being relatively slow. It won’t be easy. Of course, if it were easy, I doubt it would be as meaningful.