The birthday boy received his first rocket from grandma and grandpa, perfectly timed from the church cookout a few weeks ago in which the children’s ministry launched the rockets they had built. Daily we hear, “dad, can we work on my rocket?” After a few steps completed yesterday, we heard it again at dinner. “Dad, can we work on my rocket? Can we? Dad, can we get my rocket out after dinner?”
I heard in between these breaths of questions JJ give his answer – no – but he kept persisting onward. Finally I had to intervene. “It’s fine to ask questions, but if you ask you need to be prepared to listen to the answer. Your dad gave you one, you just didn’t hear it because you weren’t listening.”
How often we become so enamored with the task ahead, we don’t listen for a response.
Today in church we heard briefly about the story of Moses in Exodus getting the 10 commandments. Now, it wasn’t related at all to the message (sorry Dan!), but the episode in the middle caught my attention, when Moses goes up to talk to God and the people get all antsy waiting on him that they built a golden calf.
I haven’t given it a lot of study, but the way it was presented I began to think: the golden calf is what we do when we’re not patient enough to wait for the answer from God. We want something, but instead of listening we either keep asking and asking or we start in on a project. We’re faithful in our asking, but we’re not faithful in the waiting for a response.
I’ve been in a season of heavy question-asking. Something seems to loom on the other side of this season of rearing small children full-time (with that small detail of part-time business I run). I have a small sense of it, but I keep acting like both my son and those stupid Israelites. I either keep asking and asking and asking or I busy myself with projects that have little to do with the direction I’m heading but they fancy my attention better than waiting does.
Our culture is full of people not good at waiting – our immediate gratification society doesn’t exactly encourage it – but it seems we come from a long line of poor wait-ers. Hand-in-hand with the impatience comes disobedience – not necessarily because we’re breaking all the rules but we’re simply not doing the good that God calls us to. (I read an article
today that said: “In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”)
It becomes not just a question of waiting on God’s response, but living as God has directed us.