*picture above: concord grapes growing at my dad’s house, September 2015
We planted our vegetable garden on Saturday. There were a few “starts” – small, already growing tomato plants we purchased from a nursery, but the rest of it was seeds—seeds we deposited beneath the soil.
And now we wait.
The various seeds, and the plants they represent, all have their own timeline: days to germination, days to maturity – or harvest. I asked when we will see the first green shoots of life breaking through the soil. Shari said a couple of the plants might germinate in as little as 7-10 days. That kinda bummed me out. I was hoping to see something in a day or two.
It’s easy to be impatient.
* * *
On Tuesday of this past week, I went to the Mariner’s game with Moses. As we were lined up outside with a crowd of people waiting to get through the security check, a street preacher was blasting his message through a powerful loudspeaker. You need to repent! Judgment is coming. All of this will burn. And so will you. Some of you think the Pope is a good guy, but I have news for you—if you think the Pope is a good guy, you’re going to hell.
His pace was fast and frantic. There was an urgency in his voice – and an annoyance too. You could tell he believed something needed to be said right this minute. For him, it was now or never.
I’m guessing Mr. Street Preacher doesn’t listen to Guns N’ Roses, but maybe he should give it a whirl. I’d suggest the classic song Patience (although Paradise City, November Rain, Sweet Child of Mine, and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door are all fantastic as far as I’m concerned). If Mr. Street Preacher were to listen to Patience, he’d hear these words…
All we need is just a little patience.
Yup. Thank you Guns N’ Roses for the reminder.
* * *
In fact, patience is God’s chosen approach too. Here’s what 2 Peter 3.9 says:
The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Because God wants no one to be lost and desires for all to come home, his method is patience. He’s patiently waiting. And this makes me wonder—if Gods approach is patience, why do we choose frantic urgency instead? I mean, really, what does all that furor actually produce?
I could go outside and megaphone my seeds in the soil, but nothing will come of it (except for maybe a neighbor or two calling the police). A seed has been planted. It will be watered. The sun will warm it day after day. And slowly, after more time than I’m really comfortable with, a plant will emerge. Eventually, after lots and lots of patient waiting, there will be a harvest.
How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the sun. —Thomas Merton
As David Dark said, “If we’ve deluded ourselves into thinking that our angry mass emails or conversation-stopping talking points serve as a ministry or carry out the purposes of God, we need to slow down and take a breath.”
Or in the words of Guns N’ Roses, All we need is a little patience.