Let the Wi-Fi slow you down

I sat at at my local coffee shop, waiting for my access on the internet superhighway to rocket me past the on-ramp. As a regular "Guest Folklorian," I’m used to decent speeds.

But today was different.

Everything was just going slowly. I felt like I was being spinning-wheeled to death. Like I was back in the days using WebCrawler to google stuff.

Have you been there? I hate slow internet. Like "Pharaoh did frogs and gnats" hate.

But like I said, today was different.

I decided to let those moments of waiting for things to load become an opportunity to slow down. Twenty-one years in Lancaster County have all but squeezed that out of my system.

But I had just been reading Ephesians 4 to my family as this morning’s devotions and one of those peskily convicting lines read: "Be completely humble and gentle; 
be patient, bearing with one another in love." We all kinda sighed when I read it, knowing how difficult that can be. Living that way with each other.

But it's not just in non-church life.

My guess is that our church ministry lives have the same real-struggles.

  • Patience with our pastors who’s sermon-writing timelines don’t match our song-selecting timelines.
  • Patience with our team members that struggle to keep up with today’s musical styles.
  • Patience with our worship leaders that don’t give us quite what we need to get ready as we’d like.
  • Patience with our congregations that didn’t follow the unspoken "please come with your pumps primed" request again last Sunday.
  • Patience with our sound crew that we noticed were sitting, staring blankly during the inaudible guitar solo. (Bobby nailed it, tho!)
  • Patience with the incessant requests of the worship team for something else in some other aux.
  • Patience with our lyrics operator when we have to invent lyrics for the new song the worship team is teaching us.
  • Patience for our worship leader who hasn’t taken our pastoral admonition to go deeper than just singing the songs.

But isn’t it beautiful? The way God allows us to walk with each other in this?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all would rather throw ourselves under an oncoming train than "make every (or any!) effort to keep the unity of the Spirit."

Here’s the good news. "But to EACH ONE of us GRACE has been given as Christ apportioned it."

Apportioned. I think of this like the lunch lady with a twinkle in her eye, that scoops a massive serving of my favorite, crispy-salty tater tots onto my tray, silently saying "You’re gonna need this, kiddo!"

We have been given grace to be patient, to slow down, to experience the love of God and then give it away (as my friends at Life Center say!)

So next time you feel like you can’t slow down, can’t be patient with each other, check your tray. You probably already have been given what you need. Just take a sec and notice.

- Dave

ps. And yes, I know tater tots are not healthy (hence nobody "needs" them in mountainous quantities), but an "extra large salad" just felt like a limp picture. (groan)