The Wonder in the Waiting

We live in an instant world. All of us feel the pressures, but most of the time we enjoy the pleasures of the instant and the immediate. Through computing and Internet access, we get what we need in the virtual world in seconds. News networks bring information immediately from everywhere on the globe, 24 hours a day. When one orders something, it comes in a couple of minutes. This “instant gratification” has made the modern man expect that his wants will always be fulfilled promptly. The more technology caters for his immediate desire, the less he feels willing to wait.

When you ask the modern man to wait, he gives up and becomes interested in something else. We see this also in our relationship with God. When God does not work on our schedule, we may become interested in something else. We may even try to take the responsibility for making things happen right now. But in doing so sometimes, we realize how limited our potentialities to make things happen in our time, or in our way, or to our preferences are.

Some Things Take Time

While technology has changed our expectations about time, we find out that not all things work like that, for instance, our relationships do not work in seconds. Love and compassion are not achieved in an instant. Not having this stamina to wait could be responsible for the many unfinished projects, in our modern times. Most students, for instance, abandon their dreams, because of frustration as a result of heat from their teachers. In our families, children do not want to wait for anything. The last thing a child wants to hear from the mother is,“Not now.“ It can prompt anger, frustration, and even hopelessness in the child. This is not an exclusive reaction of children, our natural response as adults to waiting often can be anger and doubt.

However, waiting remains indispensable in certain moments. Building an intimate relationship with God, for instance, takes time, probably a lifetime and requires patience. Far from being deterministic, the parable of the growing seed reminds us that God is in charge of time, and that we cannot control how and when God works. We may pray diligently and desire instant answers, but God will provide them in his own time and his own way. The parable reminds us also that there is something happening, when nothing seems to be happening, because God is always at work and he will bring it to fulfillment at the perfect time.

What we need to do is, like the farmer, to get used to the attitude of sowing the seed. Believing that God is a loving father who does all things with care and purpose. Jesus invites us with this parable to trust God‘s goodness and faithfulness. That implies, like the farmer, to relinquish control to God, when we have done our part, because it is in so doing that we will experience his love and peace.

[Readings: Heb 10:32-39; Mk 4:26-34]

Fr. John Opara

Fr. John Opara is an associate pastor at St. Johannes Lette Coesfeld, Germany. He has a doctorate degree in Sacred Liturgy and is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria. Email: [email protected].

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