GOD AND 24

WORDS FROM W.W. April 21, 2010

One of my flaws is that I enjoy watching the TV drama series “24”. If you’re not familiar with “24”, as Jack Bauer would say, “I’ll give you five seconds to find it!” Just kidding…maybe!
“24” is a series of events that happen in one 24 hour period. Each season has evolved out of a terrorist threat, or crazed revolutionary leader seeking to destroy a good sized chunk of the United States. Every ten minutes or so a digital clock comes on the screen to remind the viewer what time of this fictitious day it is.
It’s one of those action-packed shows that have more twists and turns than the Olympic snowboarding competition.
But this season has been a little too much for me! I still watch it, mind you, but it’s just a little…fruity! (I’m working on expanding my vocabulary.)
For example one of the President’s advisors suffers a heart attack, is held in an office for a while without any medical treatment, discovered, rushed by ambulance to the hospital, hooked up to monitors and fluids in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and now about 8 hours later (or 8 episodes) is back at the President’s side looking like he went to Palm Springs for the weekend. It’s like he just took two aspirin and changed suits.
Let me put it this way. If the story of creation was the basis for a season of “24”, It would have God creating everything, a rotten apple emerging, Adam and Eve having to take a bite of it at gunpoint, hiding in their nakedness from Noah’s ark that appears on the horizon, that is carrying the baby Jesus, that religious fanatics are trying to kidnap and fulfill a prophecy that would bring the end of the age of man to pass. In other words, God’s story from the beginning to the end of time could be covered in one season. I’m not sure where Season 2 would go from there.
A wee bit unrealistic.
I realize it’s TV, but…
…but, I’ve noticed there is a bit of a “24” mentality in many people’s lives. Problems need to be solved immediately, if not sooner. And Christians often make God the main character in their own “24” life series. “God, take care of it right now! I know the problem is the result of a long period of neglect, failures, and self-centered actions, but if you could bring some closure to this unfortunate situation it would confirm in my mind that you are the one and only all-powerful God. Five seconds!”
I’ve been noticing in scripture that “in God’s timing” often encompasses a long period of time. We talk about the Israelites wandering for forty years in the desert, but there are many other examples of God working…slowly! Abraham received the promise of a son when he was 86 and welcomed a new bouncing baby boy at 99. Either Sarah had a very, very long pregnancy or the timing was what God had in mind to punctuate the promise with his signature.
A couple of weeks ago I was reading about doubting Thomas. He had to see and experience the risen Christ for him to believe. The story, as told in the gospel of John, could have easily (In other words, it would have fit better in the “24” time frame!) had Thomas voicing his doubts, turning around and encountering Jesus right then and there. After he voices his unbelief, however, the next words say “A week later…” (John 20:26a) God allowed Thomas to wrestle with his questions and grief for a week, instead of bringing the Promised into his company right away.
How often do we reach for the instant blessing mix because we’re spiritually impatient people? Our lack of patience uncovers our lack of maturity.
“But…but God knows I need an answer right now!”
And sometimes God answers “Not yet!”
Most of the time that’s not the answer we’re looking for!

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One Comment on “GOD AND 24”

  1. Clara Says:

    Overheard at a church meeting- “Dear God, please give me patience. Now.”


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