I was waiting for a traffic light on our newly completed main street. Seven cars went through the intersection as I waited. Three of the drivers were looking down, not up, as they drove by. One out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving. Texting and driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. For teens, it gets even worse. One out of five of teens involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
Overwhelmingly, teens and adults know that it is dangerous to be on their cell phone while driving. But we do it anyway. Our smartphones make it easy to stay connected at all times. Unfortunately, our phones are a lot smarter than we are.
In my opinion, texting and driving is a symptom of a greater problem. We are conditioned to live in the moment. “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” is the motto of many. When we get behind the wheel of a car, we can’t wait to answer a text. We have to do it now. We are more consumed with what is happening now than with what is ahead of us. We text because staying connected is more important to us than reaching our destination safely.
Habakkuk is a little-known Old Testament prophet. Habakkuk believes things are out of control. He’s appalled at the culture of violence and disrespect that abounds in his world. Habakkuk believes the law is weak and there is no justice. He thinks the wicked have a stronger voice and more power than the righteous. His world is a mess, sharing many of the same characteristics as our own.
Habakkuk asks God the same types of questions that we all ask of God. Why do you allow evil and injustice to go unpunished? Why do you allow evil people to prosper and to inflict suffering on good people? Habakkuk wants to know how long God is going to put up with all of the wrongdoing and injustice. Whenever you question God about what God is doing about injustice, you need to be prepared for God to ask you the same question.
God responds to Habakkuk this way. “For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.”
We see only what is in front of us. God sees the bigger picture. We are focused on the moment. God is focused on the destination. God sees the day coming when all will be made right. Until then, he simply tells us, “Wait for it.”
In the Bible waiting is not inactivity, like sitting around waiting for your doctor’s appointment. It’s a time to be doing things. To that end, God tells Habakkuk, “The righteous live by their faith.” What are we facing in our society today? Racism. Sexism. Classism. Ageism. We are surrounded by injustice. What would your faith have you do about it?
What are you struggling with this week? What kind of trouble do you face? What causes you to be afraid today? What is creating the anxiety and depression you battle? How does your faith give you strength? Faith is confidence in the larger picture. Faith is the assurance that there is a destination ahead, even if we cannot see it.
The appointed time will surely come. God will set things right. Believe in it. Until then, wait for it. Live out your faith. Right the injustices. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Shelter the homeless. Be generous with those in need. Heal broken relationships. Pray and be persistent in seeking justice. Work against those things that make this world a hard place.
How long will God allow injustice to prevail? God is asking you the same question.