I was listening to Dave Ramsey give some advice to callers as they tried to gain wisdom about their finances. You could tell some just wanted to get rich quick. One college student said that he wanted to become a millionaire and he thought it would be a great idea to buy an apartment building as an investment to generate income. But first he wanted to know, “What did Dave Ramsey think?” His reply might be surprising.
First, Ramsey said, graduate from school…then, get a job…then, pay off your debt…then, start saving money so that you can have assets to invest in property. Perhaps start off by owning a townhouse…He said that so many people just wanted to have it all in an instant. They wanted to “arrive” and be set for life. We live in a fast food world where you can just stick something in the microwave and have dinner in an instant. But Dave said that millionaires don’t think that way. Millionaires are crockpot thinkers. They allow ideas to percolate. They let things simmer slowly so that they become ingrained. They enjoy the richness and full flavor of life that comes from a crockpot rather than a microwave.
As I heard that, I thought to myself…you know, that’s how I was looking at my spiritual life and the spiritual lives of the people around me. I was trying to nuke our spiritual lives on high and have instant results…fully mature, fully devoted, all in for God!
But crock pot thinking not only makes sense in financial investments, it also makes sense in the investment of our lives as disciples. Becoming like Jesus is a process…The Holy Spirit can work and do anything…nothing is impossible with God, and he can grow you in leaps and bounds at any time he decides is right…but most of the time, spiritual development and maturity is like crock pot thinking…we simmer, we develop…little by little, bit by bit, day by day, hour by hour.
This is true for your life and for those around you. As you seek out to live the seven core practices, sharing your story with others, caring, praying, reading the scriptures, investing in the people, serving community and developing the people around you as you create and send leaders, remember you are in it for the long haul. None of this happens overnight. If we try and take shortcuts and expect instant results in the name of feeling productive, we will end up disappointed, and our instant results grow cold.
You can’t fast track these practices. It’s a long road, but one well worth it in the end.