Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Our Native American outreach team traveled across Alaska one summer to villages that were a long way from the nearest road. So, we spent a lot of time on small missionary airplanes. Missionary pilots are some of the best pilots in the world. They have to be. Every travel morning, they were on the phone, carefully checking the weather conditions. And if the weather wasn't safe, we didn't fly until it was no matter how urgent our schedule. And that's a good thing. Our pilot explained to me a condition that has cost many a pilot his life - it's referred to as "get-thereitis." You know, cutting corners and rushing into your flight because you're obsessed with getting there. Then he told me a pilot's saying that I had to think about for a minute. He said, "Many a pilot has been buried on a sunny day." Translation: if only he had waited just a little longer.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The High Price of Hurrying."
It isn't just pilots that are afflicted with get-thereitis. A lot of us struggle with delays and with waiting. God's time is almost always later than ours, isnt it? But we go ahead, rev up the engines, start the propellers, and go flying off into dangerous skies because we just couldn't wait - "Gotta get there!"
Which means it's time for us to hear from God in our word for today from the Word of God. It's in Psalm 37:5. God says, "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Wait for the Lord and keep his way." When you commit your way to the Lord, when you're really trusting in Him, you are also submitting yourself to His timing - which almost always means waiting patiently.
Scripture shows us over and over again that the greatest enemy of God's will and God's best is often impatience. Abraham and Sarah had been promised a son in their old age, but they thought God was taking too long. So, Abraham sleeps with Sarah's servant and she becomes a surrogate mother. The son God promised comes 13 years later. But Abraham and Sarah's impatience starts a conflict that continues 4,000 years later today between the Arab sons of Ishmael and the Jewish sons of Isaac.
Moses thought he should do something to deliver his people from Egypt. But he couldn't wait for God to do it His way, and he ends up killing an Egyptian and being a fugitive in the desert for 40 years. Rebekah knew God had said her younger son, Jacob, would receive his father Isaac's blessing rather than her firstborn son, Esau. But it looked like Isaac was dying and it wasn't going to happen. So, in her get-thereitis, Rebekah hatches a plot for Jacob to trick Isaac into giving the blessing to him. What happened? It resulted in the family being split by bitterness for years and in her not seeing her beloved Jacob for 14 years. P.S.: Isaac didn't die for another 20 years!
In each case, the goal was something God wanted, but it wasn't His time. When we rush it, we ruin it. When we go early, we crash. It pays to wait for the right time. Just ask any pilot. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "God makes everything beautiful in his time." Just as it is in flying, if you wait till the time is right, it will be a beautiful flight. If you don't wait and you just take off, the result will be disaster.