We live in a microwave, Wi-Fi hotspot culture. We want it now; we want it fast; we want it yesterday. Thanks to many technological advances like the Internet, smartphones, Netflix, and yes, even the microwave from the 80s, most everyone, including me, has lost patience for the process of many aspects of life that just can’t be rushed.
After a long talk session with my husband about how we need to communicate better during disputes, it occurred to me that despite having Google in my pocket to find the information I need at any given moment, there are still many things that can’t be rushed.
Here are five things you really can’t rush, not even with the help of Siri, Alexa, or Bixby:
#1 – Love
As the great Supremes song goes, “You can’t hurry love/No, you just have to wait/You gotta trust, give it time/No matter how long it takes.” So true. Most romances are not ‘love at first sight.’ Love, real love, does, in most cases, take copious amounts of time to develop. Becoming friends with each other (see #3 below) is a process. Learning how your personalities will mesh, determining if you have common interests, and finding out if you’ll make good long-term partners is time-consuming, and extremely important. Being patient in this process is directly related to future success.
#2 – Forgiveness
When I was raising my kids during the preschool years, I would teach them to immediately ask forgiveness when they grabbed a toy out of someone’s hands or accidentally hurt another person. While this works well with children over small issues, it tends not to work with adults. Adults create bigger interpersonal messes, and these messes often take energy and time to process. Some people need longer to reach a point where they can ask (or receive) forgiveness. One person’s timing will not always match another’s. Being okay with things not resolving immediately is a part of life we have to accept.
#3 – Friendship
When my daughter came home with a new instant best friend at the beginning of sixth grade, I was wary. Their relationship developed too quickly. Something was off, and months down the road, the friendship fell apart. For most of us, developing close friendships takes a long time. Children seem to be able to make new friends more quickly, while us adults take years to cultivate relationships. That’s okay and is the way it should be. Bosom buddies aren’t born overnight. When you put in the time and have patience, a true friendship can last a lifetime.
#4 – Trust
While at summer camp during my high school years, we were asked to ‘trust’ 20 other teens we barely knew in a deep woods ropes course. Standing on a platform about eight feet high in the air, back facing my new friends, I had to ‘trust fall’ backward, hoping they caught me. They did, but I’ll never forget the feeling of being asked to trust people I hardly knew with my life. Often we are thrown into metaphorical situations like this where we’re grouped with people in a Bible study, in the classroom, or at work and asked to trust them. Real trust takes time to earn. Through trial and error, we figure out who is trustworthy, who has our backs, and who we probably shouldn’t trust with our Starbucks order.
#5 – Faith
Lastly, faith is one area that absolutely cannot be rushed, no matter how many people browbeat you. As parents, we act in faith to raise our children the best we can to know the Lord according to our own personal convictions. As our children get older, we recognize that at some point, they have to choose and own their faith. This is tough for us as parents; we have to allow our kids room to grow, stretch, and embrace their faith on their own while being available to encourage, support, and guide.
I’m grateful for the space my own parents afforded me as I grew and opted to embrace Christianity. God uses all things together for his good (Romans 8:28) but it’s often difficult in the season where faith is changing and growing.
The common thread among these five points is patience.
As Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
With much patience and perseverance, we can give the appropriate amount of time needed for growth to become people worthy of love and trust, and to be filled with faith.
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ.