“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat …And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. – Matthew 4: 18-22.
We’ve all run across the “Buffering…..Please Wait” message from time to time. It’s that friendly little communication that tells us our electronic devices are working on processing our commands or our internet service is taking a break. It is a common occurrence for people watching Netflix or streaming videos or even “video on demand.” It’s great when the streaming goes well, but sooner or later you will experience the “video-on-hold and wait…. wait. buffering, buffering… buffering” experience.
The dictionary defines buffering as lessening or moderating the effect of something. Do you ever feel like your life is in “buffering” mode? We all buffer from time to time. You have every intention of following Jesus. But then you discover where Jesus wants you to go, what Jesus wants you to do, and you begin to ponder on whether there may be a more convenient time to follow. So mentally you start buffering by saying, “You go on, Jesus. I’ll catch up. I’m almost done mending these nets, just a few more repairs and I’ll be done. Don’t worry, I’ll catch up, hopefully, tomorrow.”
Or we say, “I just need some more time to really get to know my neighbor and then I will love them.” But that is not how it works. Or we buffer by asking God where He is going with all this. But that’s not the point. The point is God is with us and wherever we go tomorrow He will still be with us. And the more we talk to Jesus, the more we discover that our plans, our expectations, our timetables, and even our patience can be buffering our relationship with Him.
There comes a time when the only way we are going to learn the way of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the power of Jesus is to stop the buffering. There comes a time when we say that we are waiting for Jesus, but He’s already come by and already told us to follow, and gone on ahead, and the longer we wait, the more catching up we will have to do.
If you’re following from a distance, stop the buffering and close the gap. Don’t wait until the trials come, or until things get easier. Don’t wait until you’re not so busy. The time to stop buffering is now.
- Is Christianity all about doing what Jesus says or following Jesus or both?
- What can we do to eliminate some of the buffers between God and ourselves?