The other day I was warming up some lunch and noticed myself growing impatient. I couldn't help but think: "How in the world can a minute take so long?" Seriously?! Did I just ask that question? A minute is 60 seconds. Has been, always will be, and will never change.
A minute is a minute, but how we perceive a minute is what changes it. Minutes can drag on, such as, waiting for test results, waiting for our food to warm, or just waiting for commercials to be over so our show will resume. I'm currently sitting at 10,000 ft. up, writing this post, waiting for the plane to land and even asking myself how long can 45 seriously take?!
Why do we, at times, treat the process of discipleship like our perception of a minute? We tend to view it as a race or quota to meet. What gives? What are we racing towards? Who gave us this imaginary quota to meet?
My best stab at the why... life. Life dictates why we rush things. Maybe our hearts just not in it or maybe we feel like we owed someone a favor and agreed to take on a disciple. Is this the correct way to handle discipleship? No. So, why do we do this. Why do we rush through the process just to check it off this list? Let's take a look at a parable in the book of Mark:
The Rich Young Ruler
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
You see, life or possession in the case, distract us from committing to the process 100% just like God asks us to do. He doesn't want part of you. He wants you fully committed to the process. Fully in on discipling the next generation.
The process by which religion is to be taught is a life long journey. God didn't intend for us to "microwave" His mission. It's going to take time, so don't grow impatient. Enjoy it, savor it, take the necessary amount of time needed to figure out God's plan for your life. Take the necessary time to walk alongside your disciple to help them realize God's plan for their life.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I had the opportunity to chat with my pastor from my home town of Winona Lake, Indiana. We discussed the next generation. How do we reach them? The answer to this is time. Despite what the world tells us, about the next generation and how their need for instant gratification and addiction to social media, we need to get back to the basics and give it time. We need to stop telling them what they need to do and start asking all the right questions about what they want to do and how, or if, that fits into a life of honoring God to further His kingdom.
The process is key. Time is on our side. Technology is at our disposal. Instead of turning our noses up at the things they take interest in, leverage it to connect with them. Take a minute to send a text. Ask them how their day went. That minute of caring can lead to a life long process of mentoring, discipling, and partnering with them as they begin the process of furthering His kingdom!
Thanks and God Bless!
PC: David Wildman - Fat tires and snow tend to make the miles seem as if they will never end.