James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Today we live in an instagram, snapchat, drive-thru, got-to-do culture.
Short, fast, urgent.
Even twitter with its shortcut abbreviated messages, can rob us of the desire to take the long way home.
I think all this “instant” is one of Satan’s little tricks to knock us off track and away from some of the treasures God has hidden for us on the path of persistence.
Some of our get-it-fast technology has probably weakened some of our stick-with-it muscles so that we’ve become reluctant to persevere at all, be it diets, exercise, our marriages, or our dreams. If we don’t practice perseverance we won’t know how to do it.
We want a quick fix. I know I do.
If something takes too long we don’t seem to have the stamina to keep going.
But you see, great things don’t ever grow great fast..…..
They grow great, at a slow and steady pace.
A pace that builds endurance.
When we learn to achieve, obtain, and produce too quickly, we miss out.
Our culture tells us we’ll miss out if we don’t move fast. But in reality, if we move too fast we miss out.
- We miss out on the memories that take years to make.
- We miss out on successes only found through failures.
- We miss out on deep relationships only found through time.
- We miss out on honing a talent or skill that’s only made better through a slow progression of steps.
- We miss out on valuable life lessons.
- We miss out on a dependence in God which deepens our faith.
- We miss out on building the character quality of life that produces the most inner beauty and strength.
The character quality of perseverance.
We mature not by the quick fix but by trusting God through a slow mix of trials.
We are refined by fire. (Isaiah 48:10)
Now, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with our instagram, twitter, or fast food drive thru, (please don’t deprive me of my Chick-fil-A) I’m saying we need to be aware there is a place and time for everything.
And sometimes a shortcut is the wrong cut.
More important than the triumph is the strength we gain from the struggle it takes to get there.