Now and then I think about my American world view. One thing I think we Americans are always ready to assume is that there should be a fast, convenient way to do anything. We should be able to quickly get any food we want at any hour of the day or night, and the information we need or the music or video we want should be accessible from anywhere on our cell phone or whatever we have with us.
Has anyone else noticed that in our time "doing something by hand" now means typing something out character by character in a different computer program, rather than just selecting the relevant data and clicking on one button that pops it all exactly where it has to be? I'm old enough to remember typewriters. Have I forgotten what a wonder it was to work in a word processor the first time? I could go to any typo I'd made, just delete and retype it, I could insert words I'd forgotten in the middle of the text and the following words just moved over? Now it feels so arduous when I have to select, copy and paste five or ten different numbers from one page one by one into another form or a different page.
Scripture often talks about patience, endurance and long suffering. Paul prays for the Colossians that they would be "strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience." (Col 1:11). When I pray, I usually think of God's power as able to instantly solve this problem and make me happy again. "Lord, I know you can do it. Just divide the sea, throw the mountain in, raise the dead, confound your enemies and let me see what I want descending from heaven right in front of me." The temptation in my prayers is to imagine God's power making patience and longsuffering unnecessary. But that isn't how God works often. Could it be that His ways are higher than our American ways?