Every year in July, we go with Katey’s family to Emerald Isle, North Carolina. We spend a lot of time resting, sharing meals, talking, and watching the ocean from the porch. I love and savor these slow times.
God often uses his craftsmanship in nature to teach me new things, or to gain my attention. Because he has made me as a designer and artist, I see his artistry in the cosmos. I see nature not as an accident, but finely tuned and designed with care.
So as I sat watching a storm roll in over the Atlantic last week, I was struck by how slowly it moved—how it molded itself into continuously new forms. Over the course of an hour, the darkness moved towards me, the lightning and distinct shadows of rainfall dotting the white horizon seemed hardly to move, and yet the cloud grew larger imperceptibly.
We live in a culture of speed. As a designer, I am constantly feeling rushed to work and to innovate. Hardly anything nature moves as quickly. We do not sit to watch a seed sprout, a lake form, a glacier melt, a mountain born. It is the way in which God intended nature where I see the fault in humans to hurry life along.
Even in spiritual growth, I often pray speedily, counting on spiritual fruit to be grown swiftly. I think it is no mistake that in Galatians 5, Paul articulates the fruit of the spirit. I pray often that I would grow in love and kindness, expecting these virtues to have been completed within a week. Who ever watched an apple grow within a week? It requires the planting of the seed, the searching of the roots, the growing of the trunk, the slow formation of the branch, and seasons of poorly grown apples before a sweet one can be picked.
It is with this thought that I trust God in his workings of time. Though he exists outside of time, he has formed it and governs it. He will cultivate fruit in us in due time if we simply step out of the way and let him.