Mark Affleck

Did God Tell YOU to Relax on July 4th?

July 5, 2022
Spiritual Growth

Yesterday’s celebration of America’s independence was different for me. Of course it was precious family time with incredible aromas spewing forth from my overworked barbeque. But here’s what was gnawing at my psyche and tugging on my soul: The world is quickly running out of PATIENCE like a kid runs out of nickels on his first run to the mini mart.


This inexorable march of IMPATIENCE has been underway for many years, but our recent battle with COVID seems to have revved up the surreal soundtrack crackling in the background. That upped the ante and has us feeling the wall for a switch that can flip our life back to “NORMAL” now!


I call this “I want it now!” (IWIN) and it has a vise-like grip on so many of us—unbelievers AND believers. We know what we want, and we want it now. IWIN thinking has moved from a rare occurrence to a daily expectation. Once we have a taste of fast, we don’t want any part of slow.


Our behavior has morphed FROM wait and see TO push and expect. Relax on the fourth of July? You’re kidding, right? There are too many things that I want now.


IWIN is about the mindset and sense of expectation created by what today’s technology can do (FAST). But it doesn’t stop there. Breakthroughs in speed have leaked out of technology and encouraged us to expect anything and everything in life to be IMMEDIATE.


It’s downhill from there as we quickly begin thinking about the next achievement and purchase and convenience. Our rushed pace convinces us that we are behind. That chase makes it difficult to spend time with Jesus and, as a result, our peace in Christ in the present is lost.


This was evident yesterday on July 4th when I watched a hoard of people rush to “be somewhere.” They threw their ability to relax out the window in the process. And once our IWIN hunger is boiling, it does not take long before our happiness is dependent on our situation and environment.


The danger here comes when IMPATIENCE turns into UNBELIEF, and we stop trusting God and his timing. God says we are to wait for him (Psalm 27:14).


Beating back the IWIN urge is not rolling over and becoming lazy. It’s deepening our God-powered patience to connect with him intimately and continually. It’s staying tethered to his perspective every day to give us the perspective on what we TRULY need now. 


“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:25


“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32


I ask God to help me to wait patiently on him for his next move. To keep me from going ahead of him.


Are you tempted to get impatient with God? How can you minimize your “I WANT IT NOW” (IWIN) thinking?


“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Colossians 1:11


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