I want it and I want it now! Instant gratification has become the American Way. Technology is partly to blame, engineers keep coming up with new and better ways to lessen the time it takes to get ‘er done. Inventions like the microwave oven, the clothes washer and dryer and the automatic dishwasher got the speed ball rolling. Today, we can drive thru the fast food restaurant on the way to Jiffy Lube for our 15 minute oil change all the while text messaging our DH or BFF about this weekends plans.
The ability do get things done quickly has definitely made life more convenient. But, at what cost? One of the problems with instant gratification is that it often leads us to things or situations before we are ready for them. Case-in-point: the sub-prime mortgage crisis currently happening in this country. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been foreclosed on because the people who bought them were not financially ready for homeownership. Losing your home is a painful way to learn about patience.
There are many instances where the quick, easy way is not the best way. It’s a path that often leads to disaster. Consider fast food…there’s nothing at all wrong with hitting the drive through every once in a while as a treat or when it is the only option. But, when compared to a nutritionally balanced home-cooked meal, just how valuable is that supersized value meal? Or, think about the way we use credit cards to buy today what we hope we’ll be able to afford tomorrow. Once you tack on the 9-25% interest you’ll pay for that new flat screen monitor was it really worth having it ASAP?
Finally, the main problem with instant gratification, is that it really goes against the way that God operates. God does not hurry up for us, he expects us to wait on him (Psalm 37:7-9). He will not give us what we are not ready for. Instead, He allows us to wait so that our patience will build perseverance, which in turn develops maturity (See James 1:3-4).