My hometown of Timmins is known for two things: our notoriously cold winter weather and Shania Twain. Coincidentally, they both made an appearance here on Nov. 2.
As I witnessed all of the hype due to Shania’s homecoming, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief. On the radio “welcome home Shania” ads were in high rotation, businesses were putting up homecoming signs, and the city announced the grand opening of the Shania Twain Centre, which is ironic because it had been “open” for more than two years.
While I watched all of this go down, one thing that stood out was the large amount of time that people were willing to wait in order to get a glimpse of the star. Many drove more than eight hours to get here and even the locals had to wait up to two days in line just for the bracelet that would grant them the opportunity to get an autograph. People literally put their lives on hold for the excitement of meeting a star who at the end of the day, would likely not even remember the encounter.
Looking at this, it can be very easy to criticize, but before looking at how much time they wasted in line for a superstar, I think we must examine how little time we’re willing to wait when it comes to the one thing we claim to be passionate about: God.
Let’s face it—we often don’t have much patience with God. We want quick answers to prayer and teaching fed to us in small bits as we pass through church for an hour on Sunday. Our relationship with God are mostly built through one-liner prayers. That is, when we’re not too busy.
When I take a look at my own life, I often don’t like what I see. I’ll wait five minutes without a complaint in the Tim Horton’s drive-thru, yet I won’t give God five minutes of silence to let Him speak to me. I’ll wait for months on end to find out whether or not I’ve been approved for a student loan without so much as a grumble, yet I’m the first one to complain when God doesn’t give me an instant answer to prayer. I’ll wait weeks to find out the details for an upcoming trip and I’ll even go along without knowing exactly where I’ll end up, yet when God asks me to do that same thing—I’ll resist. Or even worse, go along, but be bitter about both the wait and the final destination. Yes, sadly enough, I refuse to wait for God and even sadder is that I don’t think I’m alone on this.
What would be so bad about getting some patience and actually waiting on God for a change? I’m convinced nothing would be bad about it, yet we still refuse to do it. Why? I think it all comes down to the reality that we are much too satisfied with earthly things. We’ll wait for Shania because we know that she’ll show up at the advertised time. We’ll wait for our coffee because we can physically see the line moving forward and know it’s only a matter of minutes before we get our caffeine fix. With God, it’s quite a mystery. We go to church knowing that He’ll be there in some way or form, but are never assured of how or what His presence will look or feel like. We can wait in silence after prayer for 10 minutes and not know how many more minutes must go by before hearing the answer or even if we’ll get an answer at all. It is a mystery.
Yet maybe that’s one of the most attractive things about God. Although we may search through the darkness, the second we are overcome with light—the search was indeed worth it all.
A.W. Tozer once wisely said: “It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table.” I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of nibbling on snacks when the main course is shortly coming. God is so much more concerned about our lives than any superstar or drive-thru employee will ever be. Let’s learn to truly wait on Him, because through waiting is the only way to be completely satisfied.