A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

When God Goes Fast

October 7th, 2006

When I was in high school my sister Joleen had a horse. I’d ridden him at a gallop many times and thought I’d gone as fast as that horse could go. Until one day my cousin Becky came over on her horse. Then her horse and my sister’s horse decided between themselves they’d show each other who could get back to the barn the quickest. Trying to stay in the saddle as these two raced down the gravel road I realized there was a speed beyond “fast as I could go.”

Six years ago tonight I was working in the Kid’s Team Shop at America West Arena. It was a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game. I was standing in the middle of the store when my cell phone rang. It was Sara. She was screaming. I couldn’t get what she was yelling about.

“Slow down! I can’t understand you! What’s going on?”

“They picked us!”

“Who picked us?”

“They picked us! The birth Mom and her family! They picked us!”

She rattled on, something about a December 8 due date. But to me it was all Charlie Brown teacher “wah wah wah, wah wah wah” in my head. I hit the end button on my cell phone, stared at the green backlit screen and realized my life had just changed.

October 7. December 8. Two months. Two months till twin babies. After years of waiting and multiple disappointments hoping for one child, now two babies in two months? This is fast.

Ten days after the phone call in the Team Shop my cell phone rang again. This time I was sitting at a Sonic drive through in Tempe waiting for my large Cherry Flurry. A strange area code on the caller ID. It was the birth Mom’s sister. In a chipper carefree voice she said, “Hey! Just wanted you to know my sister’s water broke. The babies will be born tonight. Can you get here?”

Get here? It’s only October 17th. What happened to December 8th?

Fast just got faster.

We were two first-born, organized, step by step, we love sequence, A + B = C, don’t throw me a curve ball, I like things in order kind of people. I had a DayTimer. Sara had a DayTimer on steroids. I guarantee she had nothing written down on October 17th that said, “get phone call at noon, twins to be born today, take leave of absence from school, fly to Spokane at 6, stay for a month.” Nope. The only plan that was in place was God’s plan. And that’s precisely the point.
In my journal I wrote, “This experience is reminding me once again, perhaps as never before, that DayTimers and Palm Pilots are, at one level, high tech human tools of denial. They may keep us organized but they also fool us into thinking we have some measure of control over the events of our lives. Being smart and making decent decisions gets us a little further down life’s road. But rarely, if ever, do we begin our DayTimer moments acknowledging that God could throw our 7-ring into a divinely appointed tailspin. We don’t like to admit the reality that God controls everything and we control nothing.

Certainly there is something to be said for time management. Stewardship extends to time as well. Yet when God unfolds His plan, the DayTimer is the first casualty. We learned that this last month. Everything that has happened to us in the last 30 days has been upside down, backwards, premature, surprising, unexpected, unusual, unplanned… and all God.”

When we speak of “God’s timing” more often than not we think of it as far removed from the urgency of our circumstances. We tend to view God as a slow moving, deliberate deity. A divine curmudgeon who holes up in a big dark paneled office, seated behind a giant desk poring over every request, petition and prayer, taking them all under advisement. Compared to our desperate desire for progress, God moves with speed of a tired sloth. Or so it seems. We’re anxious for results and we see nothing from Him. God must not be listening or He must not care.

In retrospect, I think part of God’s purpose in having us endure long seasons of waiting is that we learn to cling tighter to Him. It’s in this season of waiting that we develop the grip we’ll need to hang on when God decides to go fast.

No doubt there are periods of our lives when God’s timetable is slower than we would like. But sometimes God goes fast. Really fast. Circumstances and situations where He accelerates the timetable beyond our imagination. And before you know it, you’re getting more than a taste of what you asked for. You’re drinking from a fire hydrant and God’s the one holding the big wrench.   

God isn’t always the God of “slow down and wait”. Sometimes He’s the God of “hurry up and go!” In the waiting and the rushing, He is working out His higher purposes for our good and His glory. Fast or slow, He’s always lovingly in control.

Can God go fast?

No kids to twins in 23 days. From a standing start.

Yep. God can go fast. Really fast.

How’s your grip?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13