"There is no harder lesson to learn in the spiritual life than the fact that results belong to God. A man's responsibility is to seek before God how to purge his life of those things that make for error and wrong choices, and to act in the light of his best wisdom and most profound integrity. Beyond this, the results are in God's hands."
~Howard Thurman, Disciplines of The Spirit
Here is another homework assignment from one of the bible courses I took...
New Testament: The Gospels and Acts
November 23, 2015
How does Acts 1:6 reveal the Apostles' lack of understanding?
"Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
The saying "patience is a virtue" comes to mind when presented with Acts 1:6. I believe we all have had difficulty waiting. In our current time, it seems many of us have taken on microwave sensibilities. We want what we want and we want it now. We are in an age of instant gratification. Our grooming in the art of patience is quickly fading. Each time we click a computer mouse or swipe our finger across a touch screen phone delayed gratification is made naught.
I believe we all share in the Apostles' lack of understanding. In our zeal to experience good, we attempt to make it happen now. For illustration, in order for meat to be bold and full of flavor it is wise to marinate the meat overnight. Seasoning the meat and instantly cooking it only renders flavor in part. But if I am patient, if I am willing to wait and allow the meat to sit overnight in the refrigerator I will allow myself the opportunity to experience a more rounded, whole flavor.
The same principle is true of learning life lessons. If we rush the process, we will likely only experience partial understanding and in turn incomplete results. Just as life processes must be fulfilled, so must prophecy be fulfilled - it must come into completion. If I (we) are able to "endure until the end," until the prophecy or process is complete, I (we) will reap the abundant and full benefit.
The Apostles' desire to know when good will be made manifest, when their highest good would come is flawed yet beautifully human nonetheless. I imagine that we have all posed the same question(s) of The Most High, "When will this difficult time end? When will good come to me?" But in our rush to experience "glory" we may miss the experiences (the prerequisites) that allow the value of expected good to appreciate - to rightly know and rightly apply knowledge (wisdom).
It is not our call to know "the end from the beginning." That is The Most High's concern only. We do not possess, in our current form, the omniscience or character traits that would allow us to righteously (undivided in heart and mind) to effect such knowing. We are human. Our self focused desires often get the best of us. We are beautifully flawed. We are "imperfectly-perfect" - in the perfecting process. The Most High in the person of Christ patiently loves us, waits on us overnight to become rounded and whole.