An Inconvenient Lover

Do you love convenience? Many people do. In my work, I hear it all the time.

“Whatever you suggest, I won’t do it if it’s not convenient.” The woman was being honest but her statement saddened me. It’s one I hear repeated all too often.

“Our whole society is addicted to convenience.” Another gentleman offered with a wistful look and resolute tone. “There’s no changing that.”

This was a conversation about cooking vegetables. These were people desperate to lose weight but not desperate enough to be inconvenienced by something like cooking on a regular basis. Even parents who attend my weight loss groups hoping to help their overweight children look dismayed when I suggest they may need to make changes in their lifestyle.

“Oh, I can’t possibly plan ahead . . . cook breakfast . . . change our mealtime routine . . . abandon fast food . . . reduce our TV watching. You don’t understand how crazy our lives are. Whatever you recommend has to be convenient or we won’t even try.” The sentences come in various forms and in answer to a myriad of suggestions but they amount to the same thing – we worship convenience.

Drive-thru. Home delivery. Shop on-line. Instant messaging. Microwave. ATM. Open 24-hours. Out- patient surgery. Pre-measured. Pre-shrunk. Pre-washed. Pre-packaged.

Convenience. We crave it like junkies crave cocaine.

That’s a problem.

Because one thing I’ll tell you for certain about God is that He is not convenient.

God wants to be sought after. He wants us to look for Him. In Jeremiah 29:13 he says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” That seeking thing is not convenient.

Have you ever been missing something you really needed? It’s never convenient to stop what you’re doing and look for it, is it? It’s an interruption, an obstacle, a downright inconvenience. But if what you’re missing is vital enough, you stop everything for the search. I’ve been ready to call in a team of private investigators to find my husband’s keys, my toddler’s blankie or a teen’s missing learner’s permit.

These are small things compared to a relationship with the Creator of the Universe but how often do I insist that He fit into my day, my schedule, my world or I can’t be bothered. If spending time with Him or doing what He commands is inconvenient in any way, it throws me into conflict and too often, convenience wins out.

I get a taste of how that feels when, as a mother, I watch my growing children learn how to honor me on special occasions without direction from their dad or me. I know my kids love me but at first, their gifts, and their shows of love, revealed their immaturity in that their most obvious consideration is convenience to them. As they mature, I see that changing. Their love and their maturity begins to allow for the possibility of being inconvenienced out of love for someone else.

It happens in reverse in marriages. When we first seek a mate, most of us are willing to change everything, to be inconvenienced on a grand scale if it means finding “the One.” As marriage progresses, however, we weigh our desire to serve our mate with our need for what is convenient and convenience wins. Even mature love can grow lazy, sedentary, and unwilling to alter course.

Too many seekers have dabbled in the search for God or “tried God” as if He were a flavor of ice-cream, only to complain that they didn’t get out of it what others seem to find. They searched for God but only in convenient places and in ways that didn’t put them out. Older believers feel a wane in devotion but they don’t want to seek answers if it means interrupting the familiar flow of their comfortably mapped out lives.

But God says we will find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts. He refuses to be convenient. Even for those of us who love Him, He continues to be inconvenient. He asks us to do things that change our schedules, interrupt our days, demand the energy and attention we had planned to invest in watching American Idol or the morning news or serving others in ways that are easiest for us.

He understands our struggle, though. He suffered the greatest “inconvenience” when He left His throne, came to live among us, suffered and died to pay for the sins of people who would one day tell Him, “Time with You doesn’t really work into my schedule this week but I promise to pencil you in for Sunday.”

Oh yeah, He knows all about being inconvenienced by love.

Are you willing to be inconvenienced by God or will you choose to worship convenience? You’ll find yourself in a large crowd if you choose the idol of convenience but it’s a crowd murmuring with discontent and restless fear. They know in their hearts there’s something off but they can’t be troubled to search for the answer.

The answer can be found but the search is mighty inconvenient.

How have you been inconvenienced by God and how did that work out for you in the end? Encourage us today with your comments.

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3 Comments

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  1. Thanks for sharing this post. It is really thought provoking because in this fast paced world it is hard for people to see haow taking time for God can improve their lives. Since I have started my blog and take time everyday to study his word, I can see myself growing in my relationship with Him. Any relationship that we want to have is going to take time in our lives. May God bless you as you seek Him!

  2. Deborah, thank you for taking the time to stop by and to comment. I agree with you 100%! God bless.

  3. Heather says:

    Very good blog!