By Femi Babalola
Fast food, fast lane, fast cars, fast mail, fast, fast, and fast. Everything must happen fast. Fast is the jet age syndrome. Almost everyone is controlled by the cliché, “If it’s not happening fast, then you’re not smart.”
This is the unconscious force that informs most of our decisions. No one wants to lag behind while their contemporaries are moving ahead. We all want it fast.
Things aren’t even fast yet. Faster cars and faster aircrafts are being developed. Research is ongoing every day to make things happen even faster.
THINK ABOUT THESE…
We eat fast food, no wonder we ‘die fast.’ We consume more fats than we can use up; much sugar than we need. Our foods are processed with lots of seasonings and colorings that appeal to our tastes. These gradually accumulate as poison in our system.
We clump our gastrointestinal tract with junks, hard for our body to manage. That’s why cancer is now prevalent. It’s also why there are lots of diabetes and hypertension patients. Cases of kidney dysfunction are on the high side.
Another dark side of fast food disorder—many ladies don’t want to use the kitchen anymore! Home keepers now eat out. Several young girls in our generation can’t prepare a good meal. I know this may sound pretty rude; but, the point is—our world is being plagued with the “haste” syndrome.
This syndrome is also manifested in our commitment to the Creator. We hardly have quality time for worship. Haven’t you seen people having their early morning prayers on transit? There is no more time for the daily family devotion. We must hurry; else we get late to work! It’s no longer a problem if we keep an appointment with man at the cost of our appointment with the Almighty.
I’m not an advocate of wasting precious time in the name of worship service; but, haven’t you seen people walking out of places of worship once they begin to feel service is extending beyond schedule?
This generation has no flair for “a slow God.” Who wants a God who will deny a man a child, for 25 years, simply because He must be glorified? Who desires a God who wouldn’t show up while a man was sick, and until he’s dead for four days, and stinking in the grave?!
Some even threaten to deny God if He fails to show up within their stipulated time. It’s just one of the symptoms of this abysmal syndrome.
WHAT ABOUT MARRIAGES?
They are also made like fast foods, no wonder they end so fast. And that’s why the rate of divorce is skyrocketing, you know.
Gary Chapman wrote:
Divorce rate in the Western world continues to hover around fifty percent and the highest percentage of divorces occur within the first seven years of marriage.
And Africa is not spared this evil, because we consume much of Western thought through the media. Our traditional family system is going gradually into extinction.
A young man sees a pretty girl, and the next thing he begins to contemplate is their marital relationship. The young pretty lady who is also possessed with the spirit of the age gives in without much thought. She is deceived by aura and “seeming love”.
Don’t forget, a marriage built on superficiality can’t stand life’s vicissitudes. With time, it will crumble. That’s why divorce has become a typical option in many marriages today. Dear friend, may this not be your case. God hates divorce.
A LESSON FROM AHIM THE SOLDIER
Ahim was a loyal soldier. He belonged to the battalion that disseminates information from the war front to the home front and back to the war front. The section was further subdivided into two: “the good news heralds” and “the bad news heralds”.
The president’s son plotted a bloodless coup against his father and sent him on exile.
In the effort to regain his place, the president instructed the nation’s army to plan a counterattack; however, he gave orders that his son must not be killed. All along, Ahim was on the president’s side.
Unfortunately, the army chiefs were vengeful. They were bent on carrying out retribution. The young man must pay for his insubordination. The president’s son was finally killed.
“WHY ALL THIS ‘RUN, RUN’?
Wondering what connection this story has to do with my topic? I’ll tell you.
It was time for the herald section of the army to send a message to the president about the state of the war. Ahim was in the good news section. And obviously it wasn’t a day for good news. Ahim would never be sent.
But before anyone would be considered for the errand, Ahim spoke up and told the commander, “Let me run and deliver the good news.”
“You’re not the one to deliver the good news today,” the army chief replied. “Some other day, maybe; but it’s not ‘good news’ today.” So, he sent the Sudanese in the army that belonged to the bad news section.
Ahim possessed with this haste syndrome was not pleased. He kept at it, begging the commander, “Whatever may happen, I also want to run after the Sudanese messenger.” Perplexed at Ahim’s impatience, the commander replied, “Why all this ‘Run, run’? You’ll get no thanks for it.”
BEWARE OF COMPETITION!
That’s my question to you, “Why all this ‘Run, run’? You’re almost becoming a “runs girl” simply because you are looking for a suitor. Why all this ‘Run, run’, young man?
Ahim got no thanks for his journey as expected, even though he outran the Sudanese who was sent ahead of him. He had to step aside until the real man arrived. Though he arrived first because he was fast and smart, his place soon became last.
You too may have arrived first like Ahim. But is your arrival within the jurisdiction of your purpose? Your arrival is irrelevant if it was only to prove a point or show off to people. You’ve simply wasted your time, energy, resources and ultimately, your life. It’s not just about “the doing” or about achievement; it’s whether you did it in line with true purpose.
Most people are running to beat deadlines that no one has set for them; that’s why they end up at a dead-end. They haven’t learned that the delays of life may sometimes be providence at work, averting a looming danger.
While I do not encourage laxity, we must also learn to move at the pace of our destiny; not running ahead or lagging behind. We must be delivered from haste as we are delivered from sloth. We must remember that the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong.
We must learn not to compete or compare ourselves with others. We must learn to measure our success based on what is happening within us, and not based on happenings around us.
FAST THINGS DO NOT NECESSARILY LAST
It may be fast; but it may also not last. Sometimes, things that last do not happen fast. They take time to happen because they will stand the test of time. It’s the way the palm tree grows.
I may not be smart in the world’s view because it’s not happening fast for me; but I know that those who last are the ones who are really smart.
KEEP PACE WITH YOUR DESTINY
Leke Alder once wrote, “We must learn patience in life. Haste is not the same as progress.”
And I keep telling people too, that if you are not patient, you’ll become a patient. What you fail to learn by patience, you will learn as a patient because in your impatience you’ll have accidents. Then, you’ll learn the patience you fail to learn patiently.
At the 2015 Independence Day, President Buhari, while responding to people’s reactions in respect to his delay in taking certain actions, said: “Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed.” I think we need to ponder on this.
All I’m driving at is simple. We don’t have to be victims of the spirit of the age. Therefore, let’s keep pace with our destiny; and not just what is happening around us. If it must happen fast, it ought to be within the sphere of our assignment.
Dear friend, this is not an advocacy for sluggishness or mediocrity. Hence, use every instrument at your disposal efficiently, so that you can fulfil destiny in a grand style.
Use the world but don’t abuse it!