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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

'I Feel the need, the need for speed!'

This phrase, from the 1986 movie Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and an Anthony Edwards (with hair and before TVs ER), is well known. In fact, it was voted number 386 in the American Film Institutes 400 most memorable movie quotes.

Few, if any, of the people reading this column have gone through Navy air combat training. I imagine about the same percentage drive on the NASCAR circuit. That being said I CAN imagine a larger percentage of readers (including myself) have either driven over the posted speed limit or have been pulled over by an officer of the law for violating the speed limit.

Placing a great Karnac turban on my head I see that many of us may have done the following:
1) Grumbled while standing on a long checkout line clearly marked '10 items or less' while a man was unloading an overloaded shopping cart onto the express belt;
2) Gritting our teeth while the same man is fumbling through all of his pockets for enough money or the missing credit card;
3) At the nanosecond the traffic light changes we attempt to make a left hand turn in front of oncoming traffic;
4) Roll eyes while in back of a disabled person 'blocking' our exit from an elevator;
5) Become frustrated while teaching someone to do something because they are not doing it 'right' or fast enough;
6) Interrupted that same trainee to finish it yourself so as to waste no more time.

We, as a culture, have the unsubstantiated expectation that habits/addictions such as smoking, inappropriate eating,learning a language or skill can be overturned overnight. Advertisers play on this underlying expectation with pills, patches, appliances, gum, powders, shakes, schemes and substitutions.

To paraphrase Pete Seeger's famous song, 'Where has all the PATIENCE gone?'

You can go to your garage or basement, dust off all the fitness equipment, Berlitz courses, boxes of nicotine patches or the intact cardboard box with a month of NutriSystem and see how you have fallen prey to the instant gratification bug. How much time and money did you invest in these speedy shortcuts?

As part of your/my spiritual discipline, I pose the questions: how much patience do you have? How have you invested in increasing your patience quotient? Name the last time you showed someone else the gift and grace of patience?

In developing a new habit I know it won't come instantaneously. On the contrary, I will most probably fumble and fall back from time to time into the insane pace of my geographical surroundings. At the end of the day I can lay it all before Jesus and ask for the help to strengthen my patience threshold. I will ask, also, that you may be strengthened in this endevor as well.


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