What do we want? When do we want it? NOW!!!
It’s been the cry of many a protest down through the years. When there is a strong desire for change, it is usually accompanied by an equally strong desire for immediate action.
Increasingly however, this is becoming the cry of our lives generally and not just at moments of social or political uprising. We find ourselves within a culture that demands everything immediately, if not sooner. Everything has to be downloadable and available on the go. We cannot wait a single second beyond the release date for the latest technology but instead pre-order or queue up outside the shop all night. Fame and riches are sought through the short cuts of reality television or the lottery.
In the midst of all these shouts for instantaneous gratification, permit me to direct you to an unlikely source of wisdom—Guinness.
I should clarify that it is not the drink itself that I’m referring to here. No, rather it is the famous advertising slogan that they used a few years ago:
“Good things come to those who wait.”
It referred to the length of time taken to correctly pour a pint of Guinness—125.26 seconds, apparently. For many people these days, waiting for over 2 minutes at the bar whilst their drink is prepared would feel like a lifetime! But Guinness played on this, persuading people that what they were waiting for was worth it. And it worked! Their advertising campaign won all sorts of awards, even being voted the best of all time in one poll I have seen.
Whilst the success of this counter-cultural campaign is interesting, it is certainly not an original idea. The following Bible passage reflects the same concept:
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
—Isaiah 40:30-31 (ESV)
Despite the many suggestions I hear that the instant-gratification desire is a youth-oriented culture, it is not good for us. It will wear us down if we let it take over our lives and consume us. Instead of succumbing to the instantaneous culture around us, we need to “wait for the Lord.” And as we do so, He will strengthen and sustain us.
But how long should we wait? 125.26 seconds?
Well, this is where it gets tricky. You see, it’s quite easy to wait for a pint of Guinness really, because you know exactly how long you are going to be waiting for. But waiting for the Lord? We do not, and indeed cannot, fully know or understand His timing. We do know, however, that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28 NIV). We are assured that as we keep our focus on Him, no matter how long it takes, it will be worth it. After all, good things come to those who wait—for the Lord.
Written By Alan Humphrey for YMI