Updated: Jul 29, 2022
Last month, my devotional covered a hard subject. This month, I've chosen something a bit light-hearted.
"For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost." Acts 20:16
I'm pretty sure Luke meant if it were possible for Paul to get to Jerusalem by Pentecost, but the joy of the English language and punctuation adds a bit of levity to this verse.
"...he hasted, if it were possible for him..."
Haven't we all known someone like that? They say they are hurrying but take forever.
To be fair (or facetious, it's debateable which I'm being), Paul had said he wanted to attend the feast THREE YEARS before. So, maybe, just maybe, Luke really was saying, "if it were possible for him" to hasten.
But let's leave the silliness aside. Have you got a turtle in your life? Someone who takes forever to do the things they promised to do?
Yep, we need patience with them. I'm sure you expected me to say that. :) But I'd also like you to stop and think for a moment. Back in Acts 18, Paul had briefly visited Ephesus and said he couldn't stay because he wanted to keep a feast in Jerusalem. But instead of heading directly to Jerusalem, Paul travelled all over Galatia and Phrygia strengthening the disciples. After which he went back to Ephesus for two years then to Greece for three months... Yeah, Paul wasn't getting to that feast in any hurry, was he? Any goal orientated person with Paul would have been tearing out their hair. But did you ever stop to ask what would have become of these churches if Paul had gone to the feast the first time he said he was going?
Have you noticed that huge chunks of the New Testament exist because Paul was late? And aren't you glad? Sure people alive at that time must have been disappointed not to hear Paul preach in person, but WE can't hear him preach in person. His letters endure whereas his spoken words have vanished. I'm glad Paul was late.
Some of us are so goal orientated we miss the opportunities in delays.
Be a bit more lenient today with that turtle. Try to see a bigger picture not just an immediate goal. Be open to the nudges of the Spirit even if it mucks up your schedule.
Sometimes, taking years to do something is best.
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