Bible Stories Revisited: It Takes A Little Time – September 10, 2023

It takes a little time.


I have lived in Omaha just over a year and if I have learned anything about our city, I have learned this: construction is everywhere. You get used to which lanes are open and which are closed and then one day it flips so they can work on the other section. You know the route you usually take is under construction so you take a new route for a couple weeks until, that route goes under construction too. Now, when the roads are all finished, the transformation is fabulous. The feeling of driving on a nice, new, restored, refreshed stretch of road, its like butter. No potholes, wider lanes, lanes clearly marked. But, it does not happen overnight. It takes time, it is a process, a journey. Perhaps similar to the journey we are all on.


It takes a little time sometimes.


Think about life, faith, following Christ, learning, growth, transformation.

When you’re learning to play a sport, you don’t become Michael Jordan or Patrick Mahomes overnight. It takes time and practice. It takes falling down, making mistakes, getting back up again.

When you’re learning to play an instrument or sing, it takes time. It takes hours in practice rooms, tears, joy, throwing metronomes across the room.

Sports or music may come more naturally to some people than others, but even for the people we might call prodigies, it still takes time.

Making a change or transformation in your life. Working through addiction, codependency, unhealthy habits and behaviors. Sometimes those things can change over night. It does happen. But most of the time, it is a long journey and a hard process.

Even our faith, how we understand discipleship, what it looks like and means for us to follow Christ. Loving your neighbor looks differently at different points in your life, when you’re 5, 15, 55, and 95. Loving God may look differently too. As we have different experiences in life we experience God in new ways, we have new questions, new joys, new struggles. Your prayer life and how you pray may shift and grow over the years. How you understand and give your time, service, gifts, talents, and presence will change. Life is a journey and we are a people in process. And our scripture today captures that idea really succinctly.


Our scripture is another miracle of Christ. In the different Gospels, Christ’s miracles serve as signs and symbols of Christ’s divinity, revealing who he is, pointing to who he is. But this story is curious because it is a miracle in process.


Some friends bring a man who is blind to Jesus asking Jesus to touch him with his power. Jesus does and then checks in with him, do you see anything, he asks. The man’s like, kind of? I know they are people but they really look like trees. So, Jesus places his hands on the man’s eyes again and after that second on time, the man sees everything clearly and distinctly. That middle part feels much more like my visits to the optometrist than a miracle of Jesus. That part when you’re in the chair and they are going through lenses. Can you read that letter? Well, I know its an E but right now it does not look like an E.

This scripture teaches us about the process of seeing, the process of recognizing, the process of understanding, the process of growth and transformation. Even the placement of this story within the Gospel Mark bring home that message. Before and after this passage are instances of the disciples not getting it, not understanding something that was happening right in front of them. Even for the disciples, personally tapped by Christ, learning from Christ, and journeying with Christ, even for them faith is a process. They make mistakes, they say the wrong thing. Sometimes they understand and sometimes they don’t understand.


We are a people in process. Life is a journey. Faith is a journey. Growth, understanding, restoration, and transformation all take time, which is why I feel so sad at how hard we can be on ourselves.

We expect ourselves to get things perfect right away or to always know or have the right answer.

We try a new language or craft or sport and when we mix up words, or burn ourselves with a hot glue gun, or strike out, or miss blocking a goal, when those things inevitably happen, we say the harshest things to ourselves. We berate ourselves, we quit what were doing, and sometimes stop trying at all.


When Jesus asked the man, do you see anything, and the man replied, “I see people. They look like trees,” Jesus didn’t go, ugh how could I be so stupid. Why couldn’t I get it right the first time. Shame, guilt, and negative loops have no part in that story. Jesus simply places his hands again.


You are a wonderful child of God. You are filled with God’s breath and made in God’s image. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and made to shine bright and make a difference. And, you are in process. Embrace mistakes. Embrace not being perfect. Embrace not getting it right right away or all the time. Embrace that whether you are 5 or 95, you still have things to learn, ways to grow, and ways that Christ is transforming your life.


To quote Amy Grant:

It takes a little time sometimes

To get your feet back on the ground

It takes a little time sometimes

To turn the Titanic around

It takes a little time sometimes

But baby, you’re not going down

It takes more than you got right now

Give it, give it time


Life is a journey and God is with us along the way. Christ and the man were both active participants in his restoration, they worked together for transformation and God works together with us. It may take a little time sometimes, but growth, understanding, restoration, and transformation are possible. God is with you. Breathe deep. Take courage. Take heart. Amen.

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