Today I'm linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. This week's word is SLOW.
But the Ents are ..... SO .... VERY .... SLOW.
Merry grows impatient with their lengthy deliberations. When he asks if they have made a decision, Treebeard says, "No ... We only just finished saying ... good morning."
Merry cries, "But it's nighttime already. You can't take forever. We're running out of time!"
When the Ents finally act, they are strong and fierce -- but it takes them SO LONG. It's hard for Merry to understand why, when the stakes are so high, they don't move more quickly and decisively.
A couple of months ago our pastor gave a sermon on John 11, highlighting this sentence in verse 6: "When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days."
That's a strange decision too, on the face of it. Lazarus and his sisters are close friends of Jesus. As our pastor pointed out, most people, when they hear a loved one is at death's door, drop what they're doing, pack their bags, and rush to be with the person; they don't hang around for two more days before acting.
Lazarus's sisters' response when Jesus does arrive shows how bewildered and hurt they are by his sense of timing: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
But Jesus has another, higher purpose, as the rest of the chapter shows: Lazarus does die, but Jesus brings him back from the dead. It is an incredible miracle that demonstrates Jesus' power and authority and brings even greater glory to God than preventing Lazarus's death in the first place would have.
I think in our culture we have made an idol of speed -- and not just in obvious ways like high-speed internet or fast cars. When a pressing issue arises, so often we want others to respond instantly, in the exact way we expect them to. And if they take time to deliberate or their priorities don't seem perfectly aligned with ours, we can be so harsh and judgmental.
Maybe we need to stop worshipping at the altar of FAST. Maybe we're not running out of time. Maybe, as Jesus and the Ents show, there is actually plenty of time to take it SLOW and still accomplish what needs to be done.