The song playing on the stereo of my mind is from 1971. It is not one that was popular on the radio, but rather one I saw on TV. Like many children, I tuned in to watch Gene Wilder play Willy Wonka in the classic movie about his chocolate factory. While the movie fascinated my young mind, I was also terrified. The story takes place in a building where the strange dwarfs lived who seemed unswervingly devoted to Mr. Wonka.
Then the children start disappearing. One by one, they each meet their fate in a way that is tied to their biggest flaw. The most interesting one to me was a young girl named Veruca Salt. She was from a wealthy family, and when she saw the geese that laid the golden eggs, she desperately wanted one. She begins singing a song with the powerful line directed at her father, “I want it now!”
Her words have been echoing through my mind the past few weeks. God, I want life to get back to normal, and I want it now. God, I want Church to get back to normal with all the people returning, and I want it now. God, I want the school to happen like usual for my youngest boys’ senior year, and I want it now! Can’t you see me singing and dancing while the Oompa Loompas watch?
Patience is not a strong suit of mine. The more believers I have talked to lately, I have realized it may not be a strength many of us possess. We want our lives to run smoothly, and we want it now. When we encounter difficulties, we want God to remove them from our lives, and you guessed it: we want it now.
The scriptures tell us that one of the signs of God in the life of a believer is that they will have patience. As followers of Jesus, we are to clothe ourselves in patience. Patience is part of the fabric of faith, and at some point, we all need to learn it. This week as we are rushing through our lives looking for quick fixes and immediate answers. Perhaps we need to be reminded that God never works on our timeline. Is it possible that God is using this pandemic to make us all a little more Christ as he works at his own pace?