Saturday, July 12, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

Great to see Ian Bell biffing the South African cricketers to all corners yesterday, though I was one of many who would probably have dropped him from the side after an unimpressive run of form. But what do I know? The selectors have been patient, and have been repaid in bucketloads.

Some good things just take time. You can't marinade something in 5 minutes, or build a marriage, or become really good at a sport or a skill. The two political transformations of recent years: New Labour and Camerons Conservatives, have both been the result of a decade or more of opposition. A long time to reflect, and there probably was no way this could have been rushed. The Bible says that 'when the time was right, God sent his Son' - which meant that nobody before AD1 ever got the chance to meet Jesus. But that was the right time, and to do it sooner would have been wrong. Satan offers Jesus a series of short-cuts in the tempatations, but Jesus knocks him back, and takes the longer road, the right road.

The church does long roads. It took us over 300 years to agree on doctrines like the Trinity, and it looks like it will take the CofE the best part of half a century to sort out what it thinks about women bishops. I'm not sure whether that's incredibly prophetic and counter-cultural, or frustratingly slow and a horrendous bit of prevarication.

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