Connecting with ALL people and growing with Jesus Christ
by Rev. Paul Hung Cho
Once while driving on the freeway, I was held up by perhaps the largest convoy I have ever seen. Two extended flatbed semis joined together to carry a single cylinder. Try to picture the scene. Usually a single semi with an oversized load is impressive. Imagine two rigs conjoined! It was massive, and also very slow. I caught a glimpse from the off ramp to find that it was a SpaceX Falcon rocket.
You have heard the phrase, “slow and steady wins the race.” It refers to Aesop's famous fable and there is certainly some truth to this parable. In ministry, “slow and steady” has been more effective in the long run. Likewise, this convoy. But let’s be clear, being quick and being diligent are not mutually exclusive.
While the convoy was slow, SpaceX is not. Just look at what they have been able to do in 15 years or what Tesla has accomplished in only 14. Elon Musk, if not his companies, is fast and diligent. So is more of our world.
Our world is faster than ever before. We train in just about everything we do to be efficient or effective, and likely both. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, would even go as far to say “If you’re not fast, you’re dead.” Speed matters in our world, but speed is not always the goal.
To be clear, “speed” is not the focus of the church as an entity that deals in the realm of the spiritual and eternal. Yet, I find in scripture a constant if not growing sense of urgency. For me, the urgency reflects our attitude and the speed reflects a measure of some distinguishable result in a given period.
In light of a company that travels at break neck speeds in rocket science but slows to a crawl in transporting it, I am reminded that there is such a thing that cannot be coerced, rushed, or bought. That is trust. Trust is that rare state of a deep relationship with equal parts responsibility and vulnerability. Trust between the drivers made the transporting convoy succeed. Slow, but that trust was necessary for motion.
Building up trust is a mutual process and cannot be hastened. It must take its course if it is to endure. Like a dance between partners, there are times of toe-stepping, followed by immediate and sincere apologies, and the grace to forgive and be forgiven.
For such growth, for such a dance to become elegant and graceful, speed is irrelevant, only our attitude. So let us travel at the speed of trust. Our goal is not to finish first, but to finish together, like a dance in the trusting arms of each other with joy and thanksgiving.
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