Never able to wait

This week has demonstrated once again humanity’s inability to wait. We’ve entered on the last year of the decade, and almost the entire world has celebrated a new decade a year early. It’s a bit like the ingrained credit habit — buy now, pay later.

The UK is currently largely under snow. Just a foot to a foot and a half at most, but enough for things to grind to a halt in many places, and slither along in others. And we can’t accept that normality may not be resumed for a few days. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. I watched the evening news last night with incredulity as travellers at Gatwick Airport bemoaned the fact that they wouldn’t be able to take off on their skiing holiday. Didn’t the authorities realise that they had paid for ski passes? They weren’t going to accept that a foot of snow on the runway was a problem. They wanted business as usual — NOW!

Granted, younger people have never seen real snow in Britain. But many of the most vociferous complainants on what is euphemistically called “The News” should remember the conditions in 1963, 1955 and 1947. I recall my father recounting how he had to dig the family our in 1947. The snow was over half-way up the front door, and they lived in the city, not the country. And then he had to walk 5 or 6 miles to work, and then the same back. Somehow the trams couldn’t cope with the snow!

It’s ironic that so soon after Christmas the world has forgotten that waiting is part of the human experience. God has made it so. It took some 4000 years for God to fulfil his Garden Promise (Genesis 3:15). I often wonder just how small the band of those “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25) or “waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38) when Jesus was born. And as I reflect on the general impatience of contemporary society, I wonder just how many are truly waiting for Jesus coming again.

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