I was on my way to lunch the other day, and I turned on the radio, hoping to hear the sports talk radio I like to listen to. Instead, I caught the commercials. There were about 5 in a row, and they all contained a promise to make things easier. One of them had a promise to provide tax relief to people having tax trouble. The other offered legal help without actually having to call a lawyer.
Now that sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Still another offered to help singles to find a date with just one phone call, and then there was one that advertised for people to be able to buy a haircutting franchise for men, without having to use a large portion of money to do buy the franchise rights.
My first reaction to each of these commercials was to get upset at advertisers for promising the world, when they clearly could not deliver. And my next response was to get angry because we are living in a world where people want and expect everything conveniently delivered to their fingertips right away. But after getting angry, I became more pensive. For people of deep faith, a disconnect between the speed of the world on iPhones and tablets and the work that is done working through grief and commitment, God’s timing is manageable. But for people of casual faith, who hear on the radio and TV that everything should come easy to us, and that we should just snap our fingers to make things better, there is a disharmony that cannot be resolved when they try the same “snap your fingers” approach to God, and find that God’s timing is God’s timing.
One of the things that we can do as Christians to help ourselves and others understand how to process this is to remind ourselves and others that grief and disappointment, along with the work of building lasting relationships and commitments, is hard work, but it comes with the reward and satisfaction of a sense of God’s love and grace that go much further than any quick and easy solutions will go.
I hope that today in worship you experience God’s love and grace in powerful ways.