Many years ago, I thought I was going into the film and video business. I wanted to be a cinematographer, the person who designs the lighting and camera placement to meet the director’s vision. I spent my high school years in the school media program, I made films during my summer break, and I majored in film and video production at Penn State (and that probably explains why I watch so many films and use them as sermon illustrations).
An aspect of filmmaking that was quite vexing at times was the whole “hurry up and wait” part of production. Like any industry, time is money, so the whole set up of everything from sound to lights, to costumes, had a kind of hurriedness to it. Then suddenly, things would come to a grinding halt. Equipment problems. An unhappy director. Waiting for the fading daylight to be exactly right for a particular shot.
We seem to be at a “hurry up and wait” aspect of the pandemic. An unbelievable amount of people has had at least one vaccine, and many people are fully vaccinated. Getting to this moment felt kind of frenetic, like we were racing toward something. And yet, we still must keep socially distant and wear masks. The virus is still out there, and many people are still vulnerable. Hurry up and wait.
I am so thankful that God is not in the business of hurry up and wait. God has all of eternity to perfect us, and God will take as long as God will take. The impatience we feel, whether it is related to the pandemic, waiting in line, shopping online and then watching for the delivery – that is causally related to our natural life, our mortality. We feel time passing, and we all have a mental picture for how things should go. When we have to wait, for any reason, it creates an impatience in us, especially if the wait is for something we don’t like or don’t understand.
We do well to remember what Peter wrote in his second letter, in 2 Peter 3:8,9:
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,
as some understand slowness.
Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
No matter what we are doing – fighting a pandemic, making a film, buying groceries – we must fix our eyes on Jesus who is not bound by time, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Doing so will give us the faith to carry on, and we all need that.