Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.


In Focus

Patient leadership required

Thursday, January 09, 2020

What has become of our culture that we, who are sown into the fabric of the culture, have become so impatient? The computer, by comparison with the old typewriter, is quick. But when I turned it on just now, the time this piece of genius took to awake from its slumber had me impatiently complaining. I didn’t complain to my wife. I could just hear her saying, “So how are you any different in the morning other than the fact that when the computer comes to life it is comprehensible? At least the computer improves as the day goes on.”  

For some months now we have been breathing smoke and it seems that it is far from over. Those who pray ask God to bring the fires to an end and for the rain to come. I am not sure what those who can’t pray do. I do know that all of us are tested when it comes to patience and sometimes we might even admit to being impatient with God. Even those who don’t pray voice such feelings.

There is of course nothing like an ongoing assault on life and livelihood to make us impatient. We can be Impatient with the idiots responsible in some areas, impatient with those who dribble the trivial, impatient about things we should have and yet don’t have, impatient about things we want but can’t have. And we can be impatiently negative about the obstacles that we encounter that no one prepared for, and in truth, no one really cared about prior to the urgency of the moment.

I admit that I could be accused of being a signed up participant in the “Impatient Club”. What recent days have proven is that this is one Australian club not struggling for membership. If you are not a member, good. Don’t be in a rush to sign up. The impatient club is full of members whose impatience reveals a people full of self. Members speak out with no regard for the real needs of the moment and in truth the club is full of whingers. And the whinging is ugly, taking complaint to the highest authorities, and blaming even the highest office in the land for fires unheard of in our history. Interestingly members of the “Impatient Club” can’t confine their complaints to the issue at hand but add to it all their other issues of impatience. And in the Impatient Club you will never be excluded from sitting at the table for the blame game. They’re an ungodly lot for whom the club will put on a big Christmas lunch while the members complain that politicians are also taking a break with their families. Their media is dangerously disruptive demanding private information, challenging decisions and promoting political agendas that in the calamity of the moment are insensitive. But that is what impatient, self- centred blame gamers do.   

Our nation requires patient leadership at this time. Any leader who can’t find a bipartisan approach to such a crisis as our nation is suffering is the wrong leader. This is not the time for Prime Ministers and Premiers to sign up to the “Impatient Club”. Leadership must understand the grief of a nation and the post-traumatic symptoms that issues in anger and impatience. Leadership must, in the crisis, sacrifice self, and party if necessary, in the service of the nation. They must stay silent before their accusers but be active for the redemption of those they serve. Any media agency intent on political point scoring during a national crisis should be admonished by the public. Of course as individuals we must stay away from the Impatient Club offering patient assistance to all we can with a generosity of spirit that will turn the suffering of many to hope for days beyond the crisis.

When Jesus Christ encountered the worst crisis in human history, the crisis of rebellion against God, He patiently offered no retaliations, no recriminations, and no blame, but instead, in love, offered himself as a sacrifice to bring about redemption for all who had lost what was most important. That’s God!  My computer is better than impatience suggests. Jesus Christ is better than your unbelief provides. Our nation needs His kind of leadership right now in all our lives.