In a Minute, but Not Yet…

Every summer, while in youth ministry, I would take a group of high schoolers to a summer camp at Abilene Christian University. It was a great week; there were many wonderful aspects of our trip: intentional study, worship, good food, and Christian community. There were also downsides: a nine-hour bus ride, Texas heat and humidity in July, and outdoor service projects, and despite this, every year, more teenagers would choose to go back. These kids, who notoriously have low attention spans and tolerance levels, would choose to be miserable for a few moments because they knew the benefits outweighed the discomforts.
The camp director was a man named David Moses (an excellent name for a church camp leader), and he had a phrase that I have adopted into my own life. His unique catchphrase was, “In a minute, but not yet…” He used it anytime he was about to give a necessary instruction. For example, he would say, “In a minute but not yet… we are going to be dismissed for service projects.” It allowed the group to know that there was something important they were going to do, but it wasn’t happening right then and there. A phrase like this is vital for teenagers who are easily distracted; it provided a preparatory phrase, followed by the idea that we would have to wait, coupled with the notion of what would be happening yet. It is incredibly effective, and I believe it is the best way to instruct a group of young people.  
Waiting is hard. Waiting is typically hard because we are only partially in control. You must rely on someone else to do something before you can fully act. Remember riding in a car and wondering, “Are we there yet?” You had to rely on someone else to drive and let you know when you were arriving. For a young kid, that is next to impossible, yet you must wait because there is no other option. Sure, you could get out and walk, but that doesn’t speed up the process; therefore, you must wait. 
Working with people requires patience. We want to force someone to speed up their processes. They may need a change of heart or make a decision, or there is a specific task they need to accomplish before everyone can move forward. And yet, with people, it is best to play the long game and wait for them. I have realized that the more you force someone, the more they resist. God knows this about us, too. God has always dealt with humanity in this regard. Does God want everyone to be saved and come to repentance? Absolutely. However, He grants us free will, and He exercises patience.  
2 Peter 3:8-9 NASB20 – “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”
You might feel that a person or process is slow, but it will take as much time as God wants. Our thoughts should say, “In a minute, but not yet…”
Forcing someone, even if you feel it is the right thing, will destroy trust and peace. It is best to allow others to work things through on their timeline… and that can be exhausting. But that is the point of trust; it is reciprocal and can be eroded quickly by not believing the other person has the best intentions. Paul has these words of wisdom when participating in a group.
Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB20 – “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and love; these qualities preserve peace; keep in mind that the opposite of walking in this manner produces animosity and disunity within our relationships. Therefore, when you have the opportunity to work with people, it is best to be patient- and believe that they will God’s purpose for them will happen. “In a minute, but not yet…”
Finally, we are all awaiting a time that may seem like it has taken too long to arrive. We all anticipate a time when we will be fully perfected in the presence of our Savior. When there will be no death and no decay, it is easy to look at world events and think, “Certainly, the end is near.” However, we must never forget that God is patient, and therefore we should be too. 
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 NASB20 – “Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I am telling you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.”
Yes, there will be a change for us and all creation, which is why it still groans, waiting for a time when everything will be made new. But God is not slow concerning His promise. We know it will all change, but “In a minute, but not yet.”

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