I was standing in my kitchen, preparing my afternoon cup of tea, when I heard a woman’s voice speaking to me. No, it wasn’t a voice from heaven. It was my answering machine, which I’m convinced is possessed. It beeped at me and said, “Please wait.” Then it beeped again. That was it. I stood over it, and told it, impatiently, “Okay, I’m waiting. What do you want?” It never replied.
Sometimes, technology is my friend. Without it, I couldn’t blog and get to know all you lovely people. Other times, I want to follow my mother’s example and throw the offending piece of machinery onto the driveway. Many nights my dad came home from work to find a can opener or a toaster splayed out on the pavement.
No amount of prodding could make my answering machine reproduce its command. It regularly announces “low battery,” but commands are a new skill set. It’s getting impertinent in its old age (aren’t we all?).
I think it’s ironic that everything in my life, including my possessed answering machine, is telling me to wait. And I hate to hear it. I’m the most impatient person that I know.
The other day, I knuckled down and memorized the fruits of the spirit, and I was dismayed to learn that “patience” made the list (Galatians 5:22-23). No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to become the patient Christian that I want to be. To make matters worse, I’m quite impatient to become patient!
Thankfully, this task isn’t fully on my shoulders. God’s power will accomplish this transformation, if I let him.
Paul wanted the Christians at Colosse to grow more like Christ, and he prayed that God would accomplish this remarkable feat: “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:10-12). It’s because of God’s “glorious might” that the Colossians will become more patient and thankful, not because they have the power to do it themselves.
God’s got a lot of work to accomplish in me before I’m patient. I suppose that in the meantime, I’ll have to wait and listen, even if it means paying attention to my annoying answering machine.