As you drive into the village where my eldest daughter lives there is a sign that says “Slow! Ducks”. I often ask my grandchildren why the ducks in their village are slow, to which I get roundly informed: “no grandad - it’s you that needs to slow down, not the ducks!”
I don’t know about you, but this period of lockdown has felt like it has been the most tiring and hardest to endure. It is almost as if we have had to exert more effort just to maintain the routine of life. So as the days lengthen, the skies clear, the vaccine rolls out and we have a set of dates out of lockdown, it is natural to want to speed up and accelerate towards the next season.
Like the psalmist in Psalm 27, as we look towards June 21 and the relaxing of all restrictions, many of us will be feeling a renewed confidence that we will very soon be seeing “….the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” v13.
But the encouragement of the psalmist is not to rush and race to the destination, to Jerusalem the “land of the living”, but instead to slow down and focus on the journey, to “….be strong and take heart, wait for the Lord” (v14). As Mathew Henry summarises it so well “those that walk by faith in the goodness of the Lord, shall in due time walk in the sight of that goodness”.
So perhaps rather than rushing ahead and jumping into planning for a new season of increased freedom and familiarity that runs the risk of going back to how things were, in line with our Lenten studies, now is a time to be actively waiting on God and seeking his face about the new things he has planned.
If you are like me, who likes to get on with planning and preparation, doing that might feel counter intuitive. But a bit like the Slow Ducks sign we need to respond in a different way and recognise as my grandchildren pointed out - “No Grandad it’s you that needs to slow down” …..and wait…on God!
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<span style="font-size: 1rem;">Peter Coles</span>