Sep 16, 2019
Join us as we explore God’s ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.
I hope you will join us every week and be sure to let us know how you enjoy the podcast and let others know about it, too. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
I don't know if you've noticed, but it seems the world keeps gravitating to the darker side of things. Our news reports never seem to share the good news, only bad. Our advertisements tell us how we might get better with their products implying we are in a sad state without them. Our bodies are never fit enough, lean enough, young enough, pretty enough, energetic enough, something enough, so there is some product out there that will help that. Well, not really. You just can't push a button or take a pill and expect to look like whoever you see on the screen. Biology doesn't work that way.
And the good news doesn't sell. No one gives the salesman money for a product when he tells you, "Hey, you look great. Why don't you get some of this miracle stuff that will help you look good." His commission would be pretty small. Or what newspaper would sell if it only told about the boy scouts helping ladies across the street? Unfortunately, we gobble up the murders, robberies, and rapes, but don't pay much attention to the bright news in the world. At least, it isn't advertised very much.
No, we live in a culture and a world that seems to grow darker every day. And it's really a shame because there are some really good things happening around us if we would open our eyes and see it. In fact, right this moment, I'm performing a minor miracle or two or a dozen. I'm sitting at my MacBook typing notes for this podcast, looking out the back door of my very comfortably conditioned home in San Antonio. Inside my home, it's 72°. Outside, it already feels like 82°, and it's not 10:00 yet in the middle of September.
The fact that I can even put the words on paper almost as fast as I can talk is something people 100 years ago would never think possible. Manual typewriters were around then, but not computers, not laptops, not the ability to dictate to a machine and have words appear as you spoke them. It would appear as a miracle to them.
And I'm enjoying my favorite beverage as I'm putting this together. Coffee from my Keurig. It took less than a minute to have a steaming hot cup of coffee in any of dozens of flavors. Go back to that 100-year-old spot again. Fifty cents for that cup of coffee would seem a little outrageous to them, but less than a minute from start to finish for a hot cup of coffee? No way! Impossible. 72° in the house? Words appearing on a screen that looks like paper as soon as you speak them? Madness!
Today though, I tapped my fingers on the counter impatiently waiting for that cup of coffee. I can't believe it takes a whole minute for that stupid machine to get through the process. And my MacBook makes so many mistakes sometimes misunderstanding my Tennessee-Texas-Georgia-North Carolina-Louisiana-German-all those other places I spent too much time accent. I have to go back through and correct all those mistakes. It takes me five or ten minutes sometimes. And why does my air conditioning fluctuate those three degrees between 70° and 73°? Why can't it stay a perfect 72° all the time?
And I spent a whole 8 minutes in line at McDonald's waiting for an order of fries and a milkshake, too. Can you believe it took 8 minutes to get such a small order ready? There was only one person in front of me, so I just don't understand why it took so long!
We have become so impatient, haven't we? Fast food. Fast news. Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, and whatever the newest stuff to get instant information from our friends. We just can't wait. Time rushes past, and we don't think we have time for anything. But then…
There is this verse from Numbers 21 that says: "but the people became impatient on the way." That starts the story of serpents God let loose in the Israelite camp because of their grumbling and complaining about their wandering in the wilderness, a problem they created themselves because of their disobedience. Remember, God barred the Israelites from the promised land because of their disobedience, just as he banished Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden because of their disobedience. And because of their griping and whining, serpents came into the camp, and people started to die.
God told Moses to erect a brass serpent on a cross and put where people could see it, and anyone bit by a serpent who looked at that serpent would not die. He did. They did. People didn't die. The cure worked. Later, Jesus used the narrative imagery to indicate his death and the redemption, the cure for sin, that would come for all who believed in him and his sacrifice for them.
Impatience led to many deaths in Israel's camp. Impatience leads to all kinds of problems today. We get anxious for no reason. Our impatience gets us in trouble. We stopped projects or rush through them haphazardly because of our impatience. We accept shoddy work instead of excellence because of impatience. We want things now instead of understanding the best most often comes for those that are patient enough to wait.
Instant gratification is the name of the game in our culture. We become more and more like Veruca Salt in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," a selfish, rotten brat who shows her wealthy family no mercy and has absolutely no regard for other people's property. She wants anything and everything, and she wants it now. But what does it do to us? Veruca Salt lost. The Israelites lost. Impatience causes us to lose much more often than not. We need to stop and take inventory of our emotions every once in a while and make sure we are not acting like Veruca Salt and her compatriots. I need to remember than a minute for a cup of coffee is okay. Eight minutes for a milkshake and fries is really fast compared to a hundred years ago. And spending a few minutes correcting mistakes because of my poor pronunciation is a lot better than trying to read my poor penmanship that would take a lot more time to write by hand.
Why have we become so impatient? Maybe because we think we know so much. Knowledge or I should say information is doubling every 12 months. Before 1900, it doubled every 100 years or so. Some say the volume of information will soon double every 12 hours because of the digital age. Julian Carver of Saragram created an infographic that gives a visual comparison of digital bytes to physical lengths. First, remember that a megabyte is a million bytes, a group of eight zeros and ones used to replicate a letter or number or character in the digital world. A million megabytes equals one terabyte, and a million terabytes equal one exabyte. He shows that if an ant is a megabyte, the diameter of the sun is an exabyte. An exabyte is a million, million megabytes. The total sum of information on the internet today is about five exabytes. So if a megabyte were the length of an ant, the internet would be the diameter of five suns side by side. And that doubles faster than every 12 months.
Or maybe we have become so impatient because we know we move so fast. 100 years ago, cars were still a luxury. Horsepower even meant something to those who heard the term because they used horses routines to pull plows or wagons or to carry loads too heavy for men to bear. Speed, even with the new horseless carriage, didn't top fifteen or twenty miles per hour. Those speeds only came in short spurts. Now 50 is about the slowest interstate speed in cities and in west Texas 80 to 85 mph speed limits are not unusual.
Then there is that astronomy stuff we learn about in school and on television documentaries. The earth doesn't stand still either. Depending on where you're standing, the earth spins at different speeds since the whole thing spins together. Standing at the equator, you're moving at about 1,037 mph. At my house just north of San Antonio, I'm moving at about 900 mph. The further north or south you go the slower you spin until you get to the poles that take a whole day to turn in a circle. Then we're traveling around the sun once a year. To make that 584 million mile journey, we are moving at about 66,627 mph through space. But then our whole solar system is moving inside the Milky Way at about 448,000 mph. On top of that, astronomers tell us the Milky Way is on a collision course with its nearest neighbor galaxy at about 157,000 mph.
So in this fast-paced world that keeps spinning at mind-boggling speeds, we need to stop and take a deep breath, pause, and consider God, the creator of the magnificent world in which we live. After all, he put all of this in place so we can survive on this tiny rock hurtling through the vastness of the universe. We need to stop and enjoy its beauty every once in a while and learn patience.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.