We live in a fast paced culture that fosters an expectancy for things
to happen quickly. A compulsion to hurry from one thing to the next leaves little
tolerance for delay. Unfortunately our hurriedness usually causes the very
delay we fear. My hallmark used to be tripping over or running into a
trailer hitch on the back of our van. Such an ugly (and painful) cycle.
Stage 2 (Spin Cycle). Driven by frustration, our emotions whack out, panic
sets in, and we do something incredibly foolish.
Wanting to avoid the “spin cycle”, it seemed good to track down why we are
such an impatient people.
To be impatient is defined as being restless and/or short tempered when
under delay or opposition; to be agitated.
Solomon warned us “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet”. Prov 19:2
The Message Bible says it well: “Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste”.
Why do we hurry and act like we know what we’re doing when we don’t?
Why don’t we take time to find out the details?
Digging a bit deeper into the “why”, I remembered this how King Saul totally
missed it. 1 Samuel 13:8.9
Quick history: The Philistines had gathered together a massive, well-armed army to fight
against Israel. By comparison, the people of Israel were a small, unarmed, unskilled army.
They were fearful of the Philistines and looked expectantly to Saul, their king.
Saul, however, was nervously waiting for Samuel to come and offer the sacrifices and
ask God’s favor on the people as they went into battle.
It was the agreed meeting time of 7 days, yet Samuel had not come. The people were becoming increasingly fearful and began to scatter. Saul panicked and decided to offer the sacrifices himself. Samuel arrived just as Saul finished.
Saul’s impatience caused him to step outside the authority of his kingly office and
do something God only allowed the priests to do.
He defended his disobedience to Samuel saying because you were late, and the people were deserting me, I felt compelled to offer the sacrifice and ask for God’s help.
There it is. Saul acted compulsively, taking control of the situation. The alternative was
to trust God and wait for Samuel.
Impatience then can be driven by our emotions and a desire to control what is happening.
If we yield to the spirit, the flesh will be over-ruled.
Saul’s impatience cost him the Kingdom.
What will your unwillingness to slow down and wait cost you?