Have you tried those new energy-saving lights? You know, the ones that come on veeeerry, veeeeeeeeery slowly?
These are the bane of my existence. I have to turn the lights on a full 60 seconds before I actually hope to see anything! I like lights that as soon as the switch is flicked--BAM--come on! I know technically there is time between the switch being hit and the light coming on, but the differential is one this pea-brain can hardly measure. I like those lights. :-)
And you know what? I think this illustrates the struggle I've been wrestling with these many months. The problem is this:
I think lag time is the issue we struggle with.
Okay, maaaybe I'm being too general. I think lag time is the thing *I'm* struggling with.
As part of the thorough preparation I have done for this (and, of course, every post) (*wink*), I thought I would look up the actual definition of lag time. What I found made me laugh out loud:
WELL. Talk about hitting the nail on the head! Lag time is the time in the middle, between when the button is pushed and something happens as a result of the button being pushed--like an explosion...or a light coming on.
Yep. That's it exactly. It's the time in the middle that's bothering me. The time between when the fuse is lit and the fireworks go off. How long can a fuse be, anyway? The time between when God-the-Driver says, "This is where we're going," and when the car actually starts toward/arrives at its destination. It feels too long.
And I find myself in whiny mode, wanting to ask, "Are we there yet?!"
How is it that I can so quickly become a 6-year-old in this car trip we call life?
In church, we've been studying through the book of Acts. We've arrived at the part when Paul's life has taken a crisp downturn, humanly speaking. He's imprisoned for years, without justification and without 'due process.' But juuuuusst as this whole thing begins, while he is still imprisoned in Jerusalem, Jesus appears to him:
The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome." (Acts 23:11)
* The Lord stood near. Paul is comforted with the presence of the Lord.
* The Lord speaks encouragement. Paul is comforted by the living words of the Lord.
* The Lord lays out the plan. Paul is assured that he is not going to be killed yet. And better, his heart's desire (to preach in Rome) is about to be fulfilled.
Now, I don't know what Paul was thinking, but *I* would be thinking: Okay, the show's about to start. Let's GO!
But (and I hope I'm not spoiling the story for you) the show doesn't get started. Paul spends years imprisoned before he ever even embarks on his journey to Rome. And that journey is fraught with danger and suffering.
But you know what? Paul's job was to walk in the promises God had already given him. God didn't show up every night to tell Paul about the journey. Just once.
But Paul trusted his Lord's words, and was faithful every day to those once-spoken words.
Um...the self-application is pretty obvious. Okay, well, God's spirit nailed me with it last Sunday, so NOW it's really obvious. I need to trust that God will complete His plan for me...even when it's been a long time since He said, "This is where we are going." A long, long time.
And this week, do you know what I saw? From prison (probably from Rome), Paul writes this:
...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11)
Learned. He learned to be content. Content in whatever.
Where did he learn it?
In the lag time.
So lag time is God's personal development program. Sometimes Scripture refers to this as "the fullness of time." As in, Jesus came in the fullness of time. And, Jesus will return in the fullness of time. When the time is perfect, and all the pieces are in place.
His promises will be fulfilled to the 'iota.' But first, first we must go through the lag time. And we must learn. *I* must learn.
Growing up in the lag time,
P.S. In the same epistle, Paul wrote:
*Rejoice in the Lord always.
*I will say it again: Rejoice!
*Let your gentleness be evident to all.
*The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
*Finally, brothers and sisters,
--whatever is true,
--whatever is noble,
--whatever is right,
--whatever is pure,
--whatever is lovely,
--whatever is admirable
--if anything is excellent
think about such things.
--or heard from me,
--or seen in me
put it into practice.
*And the God of peace will be with you.