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This week’s column, like many things, is delayed

This week’s column, like many things, is delayed

Love one. Love the other.This week’s column, like many things, is delayed

Love one. Love the other.

Editor’s Note: This column was originally scheduled to be published on July 3, but was delayed due to that edition’s early deadline.

Philip and I met at the Eatery for some hot wings and a chance to catch up. Twenty-five years ago, we served together in Montgomery, Alabama as pastors at a recently merged church. He was the senior pastor and I was his first associate.

We used to go to Bob Baumhower’s and get the nuclear sauce, sweating and crying in agony from eating the hottest wings we could stand. Time has changed things. He got teriyaki and I got medium, all flats.

We reminisced about how things had changed and what we had experienced in the short year and three months we had worked together. We remembered Y2K and that night shift that night. We talked about parenthood and how we remembered certain friends from the past. We laughed at some of the memories but shook our heads at others. It was fun.

I am older now than he was then. It seems impossible. Back then I was ready to fight anywhere, anytime. He was more relaxed and preferred to choose the hills where he wanted to die. I liked dogs; he not so much. We were good to each other.

He is retired now and I worked as a temporary worker for St Paul’s for a short while which gave us a chance to reconnect. His hair has gone white and mine has gone grey. I have put on a few pounds but he still looked the same but now has three dogs at home. It was nice to catch up.

Philip’s gift of leadership to me didn’t take hold right away. There was a delay. It took time. Maybe I’m a late bloomer. Maybe that’s normal. I don’t know.

Delays, like Thanos, are inevitable. Flights get delayed. Amazon packages get delayed. Games get paused because of rain. Traffic gets stuck. Payments get held up. Delays are just part of life. How come sore muscles from a workout or an injury show up two or three days later? Why am I only getting this text or email now? When will this roadwork be finished? Ugh.

The Bible shows a relationship between faith and delay. Noah built the ark and then waited for the flood. Moses led his people out of Egypt, but it took them 40 years to enter the promised land. Jesus lived the power of delay in His ministry as well. He was 12 when He first taught in the temple (Luke 2). Then there was a delay until He was about 30 years old to begin His public ministry of healing and teaching. That’s an 18 year delay. Wow.

Delays don’t mean nothing is happening; they mean it’s getting closer. Your time is almost here. The moment you’ve been waiting for is coming any minute. Your hard work is about to pay off. That break you’ve been needing is almost here. That lesson learned can finally be applied. That opportunity is right around the corner. The seed that was planted is about to sprout. Time leaves its mark on all of us. It may come later, which is better than never. Don’t give up. The best things in life are worth waiting for and your time is now.

Love one. Love the other.