Speed and splash matter to us. If we have to wait, we get annoyed and impatient. Our super fast iPhone is no longer good enough; we have to get the newest super-super-fast model. Five minutes in line is an eternity when we’re already “hangry”. I’ve mentioned the profuse apology and gift card I received for having to wait seven whole minutes at a drive-thru window in South Carolina.
But speed isn’t always enough. It better make a splash, too. We want the fanciest and most super incredible ever. A name in lights. Fireworks. Whatever “it” is, it better come with pizzazz and wow-factor. For that matter, one of the most expensive tickets at any Summer Olympics is the 100m dash - splash and speed.
I don’t suppose there’s anything automatically inherently wrong with this, unless you expect God to work that way. Normally, ordinarily, God works slowly and deliberately and without much fanfare. He works in and through the rather mundane activities of life.
Just take a look at Esther, the Israelite queen of Persia. In Esther 1, then-queen Vashti refuses (rightly, I might add) the king’s request to come and parade her beauty before their party guests. The king, as you might expect, was none too pleased and, at the advice of his counselors, set out, in a two-part plan, to have her replaced, both as queen and wife.
Now, that party thrown by King Ahasuerus began in the third year of his reign and lasted, apparently, six months. In chapter 2, Esther is among the women added to the king’s harem. According to Esther 2:12, it took a year of preparation just to get the girls ready to see the king. We are told in 2:16 that, when Esther finally went in to the king, it was in the tenth month of his seventh year.
Four years passed between the removal of Vashti and Esther gaining the king’s favor. What happened during that time? Well, that’s just it, life happened during that time. Four years pass between chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Esther. In those four years, the king ate and drank and ruled and made decrees. Esther grew older and grocery shopped and had her hair done. People died and babies were born. In other words, the ordinary mundane events of life happened during those four years.
And all the while, God was accomplishing his purposes. All the while, God was orchestrating these ordinary events to bring about his intended purpose. All the while, during what appeared to be ordinary events of life, God was preparing Esther and Mordecai for their role in delivering the Israelites from danger.
Maybe we need a longer view of God’s work. Are you looking for speed and splash in your Christian life? Are you looking for speed and splash to validate all that you think God is doing? You may be waiting a while; they don’t frequently come. However, while you’re waiting, don’t miss all the ordinary events of Christian living.