Our modern world is characterized by instant gratification in almost everything we do. Some will nickname this generation as the ‘I want it now Generation’. Today, we have online banking, microwaved meals, online courses and instant food among others. Technology is growing extremely fast and day by day we have new methods of doing things in a more efficient way. With smart phones and laptops almost each one of us expects an instant answer.
In this era of WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and twitter among others, we can communicate with people from any part of the world at any time. You can share photos and videos and make your profile public to the whole world. Today it is not hard to tell what your friends have been doing, where they live, events they have attended and their main occupations. Social media has made it easy for us to know all these things.
Even as we appreciate the kind of technology we enjoy today, there are dangers that come with it. There are vices that it instills in us knowingly or unknowingly and this of course affects certain aspects of our lives. We are now accustomed to getting everything we need right away. Waiting has become a vocabulary.
A problem arises when we try to introduce the ‘spirit of instant things’ in our families, finances, education among others. Some families are breaking up because of too much expectations and pressure of getting wealthy faster. There are some who want to build houses and buy cars and take children to the best schools instantaneously without going through the normal process of hard work. The place of planning and gradually attaining these goals is no longer seen. This is why some will opt to steal or sell illegal stuff like drugs because this is the only way they can attain what they need gradually. This is wrong and un-biblical.
Proverbs 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little makes it grow.
In my opinion, I would say that the reason we have rampant cases of exam cheating and political leaders faking academic credentials is because of this same spirit of getting things instantly. The society has taught students that their lives can completely transform in one day especially with Sportpesa and other gambling sites. Students have borrowed from the social media and applied it in the real world. What they do not realize is that instant success is not success at all because you do not benefit from it. The effect in this decay is the kind of society we now find ourselves in.
The area of agriculture has been affected too; today we have crops that grow at extremely fast rates. Crops that used to take many years to mature and produce, now take few years and they are ready for consumption. Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms are in our markets. Within weeks you can have a full-grown chicken and sell them. One can accelerate the ripening rate of a fruit; a mango that would normally take several weeks now needs a few chemicals and it will within days become juicy and ripe.
What happened to the days when people worked hard and gradually achieved their goals? In those days, waiting was embraced and celebrated, people were willing to take baby-steps to get their goals. I believe there is hope for our generation and we can, through the power of the Holy Spirit, revive the spark of waiting. We can still benefit from technology but also surpass the snares that it brings along with it.
Stephen Eyre in his book Patience: The benefits of waiting writes, ‘You can tell that God is growing patience in you, not when you are patient, but when you run into frustrating experiences; when others fail to meet your expectations; when people you depend on let you down; when the things you depend on keep breaking. Most of all, you know you are learning patience when you call out to the Lord for help and he seems to be on vacation.
Throughout biblical history, God has called his people to wait. Waiting patiently upon the Lord is not easy but it is worth it. God calls Abraham and promised him a son and nations yet during that time there was little hope for a son. Abraham had to wait for over twenty-five years for a son to be born. Although waiting at times may be painful, ultimately we find that it has the power to draw us to Jesus Christ.