For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:1-2
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost." Luke 19:1-10
I am not terribly good at waiting. I do wish I was more patient but I am likely to lose it before things happen as I think they should. I remember, as a child, staring up at the school room clock, willing it to move faster. It never did but rather seemed to slow down with every glance and glare I directed at it. Some people are much more patient than I am and actually enjoy and savor the time of waiting and anticipation. I ache sometimes to be like them and more often quickly change my mind and despise them instead.
We hear from the prophet Habakkuk, who lived during very trying times that sometimes visions and results seem to tarry and we are to wait. Zacchaeus was not a patient man, living in hard times, challenged by the shortness of his stature and the height and depth of the crowd. He ached to see Jesus and had a terrible time waiting so he finally climbed a tree. It was to his home Jesus chose to go. He was by no means a perfect man either. And yet it was to his home that Jesus chose to visit. God loves the patient and the impatient, the near perfect and the never perfect. God aches to draw close to us in our messiness and our failures. God draws near, in our time, whether we take the time to see it or not.
As this Sunday closes, I ask God to help me be more patient and present in the coming days. May we not try to fix things but rather welcome God's presence in the midst of our mess and agitation. May we be ready to live in the hard times we have, knowing God's vision of love and justice is drawing ever nearer.
Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.