From the Lectionary for August 19, the Epistle from Ephesians 5,
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil…
Hurry Up, Jesus!
This may be my most enduring prayer. It is also my least successful. That does not stop me from praying it all the time.
When things get difficult, my desperation desires a God that swoops in, as if on command. I want a right now miracle making everything better, whether circumstances are what they are, or whether the mess is of my own making.
It is at those times that I send up some version of the following, “Hurry Up, Jesus.”
More than a prayer, it is a command (it is not intended as so, but if we’re being honest…). Invariably, because God is indeed “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,”
the Work of the Divine exceeds my petty expectations in a way that is all God, zero me.
Later, I am grateful. That is why, in the midst of my current storm, I was blessed with the words of this lesson, to make the most of my time.
I am learning to embrace messy, instransient Grace.
As if he’d received specific instructions, the Rector this morning spoke this wisdom. Sometimes, we find ourselves in worship to be reminded that
it is well in the interim,
that though deliverance has not yet come, we are in communion with those who understand that living Grace-filled lives is a long-term commitment. We praise and worship in the before, the during, and the after. Living a Grace-filled life is not all Super Bowl Sundays; there are seasons when you can’t even buy a win.
As Zora Neale Hurston wrote in “Their Eyes Were Watching God,”
“There are years that ask questions
and years that answer.”
Today, but not yet routinely, I am grateful that God never answers my Hurry Up, Jesus prayers. I am making space to practice Faith and Gratitude. I do not only want to praise God when I get my way, but to Praise God because.
Be careful then how you live…making the most of the time, because none is promised. We might do well to heed the wisdom of Chance the Rapper, to praise til we’re gone,