Saturday, February 28, 2009
It would not have surprised me if I had heard a voice on the loudspeaker saying, "Customer needs assistance in the produce section!" I probably did. It happened a few weeks ago as I was standing in front of the out-of-season, over priced, imported-fresh-all-the-way-from-Chile blueberries. As I was contemplating the purchase, I started having this theological meltdown. All of a sudden I started remembering a book by Barbara Kingsolver entitled, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." It is a good read, but a slow one. For months I have been moving through the words on the pages and the issues she raises. Kingsolver's thesis is that we should eat what is local and what is in season instead of depending on food shipped across the country or the world. Instead of paying too much for blueberries in February, she would tell me to wait until June. She would tell me there is some value in waiting and anticipating and enjoying what is provided when it is provided.
I find it a sensible lesson, but a hard one. Being a part of this culture of ours, I am addicted to the idea of having what I want when I want it. What I was experiencing in the produce section was not just a craving for out-of-season blueberries, but something called a desire for instant gratification. To bring that word out of the closet is to see why I called that moment a theological meltdown. While I may be hooked on instant gratification, God is definitely not. He is not in the business of rushing things to keep me on the happy, contented, and satisfied list.
I know better than to buy into what the culture is selling, but knowing does not take away the temptation. I still find myself wanting God to do something now. I still find myself looking for my fleeces to turn up like I need them to be. I still find myself wanting it to happen now instead of later. I still want those blueberries.