Newsflash: Waiting is not about magic.
I won’t go into the whole confusion about God and Santa except to say that – unlike tongue-in-cheek Sarah Silverman – I don’t believe that Jesus (or either of the other two persons of the Trinity) is magic. And yet, many of us remain confused.
We pray our wishes will come true, but then we do nothing more than offer a minimal effort to work with God. Example from Church World:
- A church wants to grow and return to their former glory (e.g. full pews.)
- They pray to The Almighty that their church will grow.
- They try simple strategies: install a new church sign, hand out flyers, call a new/better pastor.
- They wait.
- Nothing changes.
Going out into the world to make disciples of all people is hard work. It’s not about putting up a shinier sign or passing out pithy flyers or choosing a new leader. It’s about Changing Everything: our souls, our perspectives, our wildest dreams, our expectations, our control. Change is hard and most of us don’t want to do it.
Much of the world is waiting for food and water. They are waiting for shelter. They are waiting for grief to subside or for the meds to kick in. They are waiting and waiting and waiting because they have no choice.
But we who have many choices can choose – during this season of waiting – to believe in magic or to believe in Jesus’ message to go out.