We want results and we want them fast! We live in the age of the instant product. We have instant soup, instant tea, instant photos….pretty well instant anything. We know that the quality suffers, but we are willing to sacrifice that for quick results, and time and effort saved.
We forget that certain things cannot be rushed. To grow to maturity as a human being is the job of a lifetime. To build a good relationship with someone takes time. To get to know and understand one’s children takes time. To overcome our bad traits and weaknesses takes time.
Our age could also be called the age of the push button. All we have to do is press a button or turn a switch and things happen.
Many of today’s labour-saving devices are good. They take some of the monotony and drudgery out of life and work. But there is a danger in living in the world of the push button. The push button encourages the minimum effort, the least cost, the shortcut approach to everything. It may lure us into always seeking the easy option, even when there is no easy option – at least not if we want the genuine article. Why bother to visit that old or sick person if you can phone them?
Besides, the old problems remain in the age of the push button. There is the problem of bringing up our children well. There is no magic switch for that. There is the problem of acquiring a skill. There is no button you can press that will make that happen painlessly. In other words, for some things there are no shortcuts.You see your little baby and you know that things are mostly beyond your control. The one thing you want to see happen- that your child will grow up to be a wonderful healthy adult- you cannot do anything about. All you can do is wait in patience and hope that no unforeseen ill or injury happens that impacts on their progress.
Patience and hope are not easy virtues. Yet life calls for these virtues. Some people think they must always be up and doing – as if everything depended on them. They are unable to take time out, to let things be, to trust, to be patient, to be humble, to wait.
We should learn patience from watching nature. Things take time to grow. And they take time to ripen. Nature doesn’t take shortcuts. All the seasons are needed.
We need all the seasons too. Nothing is wasted.
Our job is to sow the seed. Any farmer will tell you that. If we do the right thing, the harvest will come. But can we be patient, can we wait, can we trust?