This past Christmas we went to Christmas Candylane at Hershey Park. It’s a fun, yet cold, time at an amusement park as a family. Since our kids are getting older, they no longer stick with the little kid rides but are now interested in rides that are a little bit faster, and they are not the only ones! 

What used to be a handful of kids and their watching parents is now a combination of kids, parents, and teenagers, all swarming to the same location and standing in the same line. Instead of hopping from one to the other, it’s standing in one spot and waiting your turn. During this new phase of life and experience, I had a couple of realizations: we don’t have time to be bored anymore, and there is no “fast pass” to sanctification.

Realization 1: We don’t have time to be bored anymore.

The first realization is that boredom is a thing of the past – at least for some. It is amazing how quickly kids go from standing in line to having a phone thrown in their faces. They are not the only ones. They see it modeled constantly. Parents were anxious, some leaving the line altogether and many others with their devices out – fixated on the latest image in their social media feed while their child tugged on their pant leg.

I, too, felt the urge to reach into my pocket and pull out the glowing rectangle as well. Instead, I leaned down and had conversations with my kids. What happened was terrific. I was able to have great discussions with my kids about what was happening at school, things they were excited about, and a lot more. I found joy – right then – by being in the moment, embracing it as a gift instead of seeking to overcome it.

Realization 2: There is no “fast pass” in sanctification.

As I stood there in line, seeking to make the best of it – though a little tired as time wore on – I saw a few people who had just entered the line but from a different path. They had a “fast pass” and could immediately get on the ride. No waiting. 

I thought to myself, “that would be nice,” only to immediately remember those conversations with my kids. Would I have had those conversations if we had a fast pass? Probably not. The waiting, the time in-between, brought out something that wouldn’t have been there before. 

It made me recognize the importance of time. How time, and even discomfort, is necessary to bring things out that were not there before. Taking a shortcut could be shortcutting opportunities for growth and maturity – avoiding the very means God has used time and time again in the lives of His people. 

What About You?

What are things that you are seeking to shortcut? Are you growing in the boredom or too concerned with avoiding it? Have you missed opportunities with your kids or others by running to fill the empty moments instead of leaning into them and embracing them as a gift? Can we fill the day with too much activity? These are questions God brought to my mind as I stood in line at Hershey Park; hopefully, they can be helpful for you to ponder as well.