God Is Not In A Hurry
Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 21 June 2015.
By John Abbate.
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on.”
According to the Bible, God is in no hurry. God is in it forever. God is eternity. As mortal beings, we live our lives between a beginning and an end; we live in the present. Paul Tillich called it “the mystery of the present.” What will we do in our moment, in the great riddle in which we dwell?
Dr Macnab approaches his topic via five questions, each with multiple possible answers. He supplies one answer for each. “We’re given our lifetime,” he said, “to find answers to these questions.” Dr Macnab weaves the Bible story of the “Feeding of the Five Thousand” through the address, using it to bind these thoughts together.
What is it that we want most out of life? The answer Dr Macnab gives is real contentment. “From the fragments of life, they ate to their heart’s content.” We put our real contentment at risk when we hurry through life. In our impatience and anxiety, we rush to judgement; to find quick solutions to our problems; to get our way. In the hurry to live, we mismanage the moment.
What must we do to get what we really want? The key to ongoing contentment is the ability to creatively adapt to the realities of the present, using the resources at hand—the “fragments of life.”
What is of vital importance? What will we focus on? “Hope, perhaps, for something bigger than ourselves?” asked Dr Macnab. More important, perhaps, than our physical nourishment, is our inner growth and harmony, our rejuvenating equilibrium.
What will you hold onto, when things go awry? Hold onto the best things; the beautiful things. Dr Macnab has devised the symbol of a golden rope; hold on to it for a moment, or you might miss the beautiful things, the great experiences, the possibilities that are still ahead of you.
Will you stop for a while, pause in front of the great riddle of the moment, and be present to your now? Leo Tolstoy: “Remember then: there is only one time that is important– Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”
Dr Macnab: “We can become part of the hurried crowds and miss that moment, and the fullness of the emotion that can go with it.”