#Instablessing#InstaGod – What have we become…?

   I have been spending a good bit of time lately watching my little ones during their daily activities. Watching them complete their chores, the girls during their gymnastics practice, or just simply day to day interaction with us and each other. One single word keeps playing over and over in my mind as I watch each of them, and that word is “impatience”.  

   Now before I go any further, I want to make sure to put myself on the chopping block and admit that many of the things I am about to mention, I myself have been guilty of. That being said, I KNOW that I am not alone and that there are many out there just as guilty as I am…and I hope that this blog will help you all take a step back as it has caused me to do.

   My eldest daughter and I were discussing the whole concept of the internet, what it entails, how it came to be, etc. It was when she made a comment about how horrible it must have been having to wait for your computer to connect to the internet, which many youth today have a hard time even understanding the concept of “dial up”, that it really hit me. Technology has always been an amazing and exciting thing, intending to enhance, educate, and advance. Always “moving forward” the “quicker the better” and yet…never realizing exactly WHAT it is leaving behind or causing the “host” to become. You see, in the past 20 years or so, we have gone from waiting for everyone to get off of the landline so that we could log on the internet, to our laptops, cellphone, and tablets are constantly linked. All we have to do is tap the screen and start searching. It still amazes me that many today do not even know what a “landline” phone is or even the mechanics. 

   We have gone from small neighborhood grocery stores where you feel warmed and welcomed every time you go in, to mainstream SuperCenters where multi checkout lanes are not fast enough, so we have self checkouts as well as self scanners so we can bypass the checkout lines all together.
   Now let me stop right here because I know there is someone reading this right now ready to throw their “buts” and “howevers” in. I understand there are times when the self checkouts are useful and needed. I myself use them when I am truly in a hurry or if I just have a few items. We have even used the “self scanners” a few times when they were in our local Walmart….until it came to the point that every time we would use the scanner we would get half way through our list before it would start malfunctioning. Yay, technology right? We also have where you can order your groceries online, pull up to a parking spot, and someone will bring them out to your car.
    Banking is done online as well as apps where you can scan your deposit check from your phone and it go straight to your account instead of you using the drive thru. We pay our bills online or through apps because it takes too much time to drive to town. 
    Our fast food drive thru’s are now not fast enough to the point that you can order using your phone, and pull up to received your order instead of waiting in the drive thru line.
    I get it…many of our lives are busy, always on the go that without some of these quick and instant options we wouldn’t be able to get through our days. BELIEVE ME…I GET IT. However…what are these instant results, instant gratifications not just teaching our children, but how are they being carried over into our personal lives?
    How many times, and be honest, have you called someone on their cellphone or you sent them a text message, and you became frustrated because either you left a voice mail and they didn’t immediately call you back or you had no instant response back to your text? When just a few years back, we would have called someone, left a message on the answering machine, and gone about our business, unfazed knowing that person would get back to us as soon as they could.
    We started emailing instead of sending what we call “snail” mail because it was quicker. However, even email responses began taking too long, so we started going to text and messaging. To those who know what it is like to receive a letter in the mail, how great of a feeling is it to see a brightly colored, hand written envelope addressed to you, that ISN’T a bill? lol. There is nothing like receiving a hand written letter, because that person took the time our of their day to physically write their thoughts on paper to send to you. Miss these so much.

    How often do we get annoyed or short with our little ones because they do not response as quickly as we think they should? They may take a little longer to put on their shoes and socks, while we stand at the door tapping our foot, ready to leave. The long drawn out stories they tell us or when it feels like 45 minutes for them to ask one question…..and we are sitting there trying to hurry them along by answering the question before they can even finish… we all have done it or do it still…but I ask you as I have been asking myself lately, what have I become? Also, not only what have I become, but what is my impatience teaching my babies?

    I can answer that last question real quick with, it is teaching them to be impatient with each other AND themselves. I watch as my baby boy becomes frustrated when he can’t seem to form the words to get his thoughts across, so he just gives up. I watch as my girls may struggle to learn a new skill in gymnastics and get so frustrated with themselves because it doesn’t come quickly, that they have tears streaming down their faces. I watch as my eldest struggles with a algebra problem and because she can’t “GET IT” as quickly as she thinks she should, she wants to quit and give up. They talk over each other instead of waiting for the other to finish, have a tendency to not “wait their turn”, and are quick to turn in the towel when a task takes longer than they would like for it to take.  Parents…..we have truly got to do better.

   Not just on a personal level, but what is all of this instant/quick fix doing to our relationship with the Father? Bibles are now on our phones. We don’t memorize the books, we don’t memorize scripture….because why? It is all there for us in an instant? We don’t study anymore, we don’t search out anymore…we sit and wait for someone to tell us what a scripture means and how we are supposed to apply it to our lives….instead of us figuring out for ourselves what the Father wants from us and how to apply OUR lives TO His Word.

   We want instant blessings, instant relief, instant “way outs”… We spent too much on vacation or on a shopping spree and are now in debt up to our eyeballs, and pray to the Father for financial blessing to get us out of a bind. We have a few doctors bills that we know will be coming up, but instead of us cutting back a little here and there to prepare for them, we just live our lives carefree and figure that “God will provide”.  How many of us are frustrated with out weight or our health…but refuse to do what we need to do on our end to eat healthier and get our bodies back to where they need to be? Instead we pray to Abba for quick and instant healing, curbing our appetites, help us to “push the plates away”. 

   Now again, let me stop and clarify, do I believe in miraculous healing? ABSOLUTELY! Do I believe that the Father will bless you in an instant? WITHOUT A DOUBT! I also know there are some financial situations and health factors that are out of our control. However…no matter what, I DO believe that the Father ALSO expects us to do OUR part, do what WE CAN, live as righteous as we can, and then He will do His part.

   But, going back to the “InstaBlessings”, I also have a “part B” to that in, how do we know that the actual BLESSING is not in the outcome but in the knowledge we gain DURING the trial? We throw our hands up, say YOUR WILL BE DONE, IT IS ALL IN YOUR HANDS, I PUT MY TRUST IN YOU, and IN YOUR TIMING FATHER…however when His timing doesn’t line up with OUR timing we get anxious, frustrated, and start wondering “Where He is?” What if His answer, is the process? You want to get your finances back under control and you aren’t given a huge financial blessing to kick start, so you begin to cut back here and there, budgeting, and making smart purchases. All of a sudden, your finances are back where they need to be and maybe even better…but now, the thrifty and smart way of spending is now a lifestyle because of the process.

    What if you aren’t given quick healing with your illness or overweight situation, so you begin to take matters into your own hands and look at your eating habits, listen to your body, and find out what changes you need to make. Maybe you become more active, maybe you take a little extra time making sure to disinfect when around someone with the sniffles and then all of a sudden, you begin to feel energy again, clothes fit better, you feel healthier….and (again) the process has now become a lifestyle that will keep you on this track for the rest of your lives.

    Now I ask, would the instant healing, the quick financial blessings have taught you anything? Or would they have just been a quick means to an end and the reality is you probably would have found yourself in the same situation or one like it again down the road…
AGAIN…because I know someone is ready and waiting to pipe in…I am focusing on decisions that WE have made that we KNEW might not have been the right ones, but needed the “instant” gratification, and figured we would deal with the consequences later. Day to day situations that WE have caused due to our lack of self control. Self Control……we will save that one for another day. 

   My brothers and sisters…we have GOT to get out of this InstaGod/InstaBlessing mindset. He is not a genie whose lamp we rub, He is not a Santa Claus that we send our lists in to and expect every item to be filled, He is not a slot machine that we put our tokens in, pull the handle and expect a payout. There is SO much to learn and to gain from THE PROCESS, from TAKING OUR TIME and BEING PATIENT.

   So I encourage you as I am looking at myself in the mirror, take a step back. If not for yourself, for the little ones that are looking up to you and mirroring their lives after you. Take the long way from time to time, walk out the “test”, dance in the rain, teach and implement patience and understanding, learn how to grow through the process…and breathe. Experience life, give of yourself in your relationships, give more time and honor to the Father…because He DESERVES it. As children of the Most High, it is time we get off this “fast track” that the world is trying to preoccupy us with, slow down, and make the most out of what time He is giving us….because He is giving it to us for a reason…