All content on this blog from Tim McGhee has moved to the Tim McGhee Substack, and soon, Lord willing, will be found only on that Substack.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Faster > instant

We tend to drive harder and harder toward stronger, better, and faster. Speed is fun. It can be dangerous, and that can be part of what makes it fun, too.

Going faster can mean things coming faster, too. The business world knows this quite well. If you can do things as well as your competitor and faster, you have a useful advantage.

The Bible calls on leaders to lead with speed (Romans 12:8).

Does faster ultimately lead to instantaneous? Is that its logical conclusion?

I don't think so. Think of anything you've ever wanted to go faster, and then imagine not needing to wait for it at all.

At first it may sound appealing. But if you start applying that premise to everything, pretty soon there's nothing left for which one must wait. Then what?

Waiting, or relaxing, is part of the creative process. Ideas need space to develop. Margin is essential.

Sure, one could argue instantaneous would just be for work things, and that would leave more margin for everything else. This makes a bit too much, however, of the line between what is productive and what is marginal. Take the paycheck out of the equation, and the line gets a lot less clear.

Perhaps this comes with age or with establishing routine, but there can be joy in the process, the waiting, and in the time it takes to do things.

The cliche goes, “The joy is in the journey.” The problem with that is it over-dramatizes the more mundane things in life. It's not a journey to fill my water pitcher or filter. It just takes a couple minutes, and I can't journey anywhere while that's happening.

If we really need something to fill the space or give purpose to our margin and our waiting, instead of always instantly getting out our digital scrolls, try something else. Be grateful. Give thanks to God, in Jesus name, for everything, including the things we await, however long or short, fast or slow that may be.

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