Our Inefficient God

 February 21, 2014

Efficiency is over-rated. Efficiency experts tell us how to get organized, to only touch each piece of paper once, to multi-task and hence make the most of our time. However even the experts are realizing that effectiveness is more important than efficiency. You can be very efficient at doing the wrong thing, thereby being ineffective. Better to be effective than efficient.

Our God, though, is little concerned with efficiency or effectiveness. Just look at the human body and our need to refuel three times a day and to sleep every night. An efficient God would have designed a body that could go non-stop on only a few hours of sleep and would only have to eat once a week or even once a month. Just think of all the hours saved not sleeping and not preparing and eating meals.

A more effective God would have chosen the best and the brightest to bring his word to his people and lead his flock. Instead God chose the motley crew which was the apostles, simple fishermen and laborers, and put in charge the rash and irascible Peter. God consistently chooses the least of those around: Moses, the stutterer; David, the youngest son of Jesse, a simple shepherd boy; Mary, a girl of no social standing. When he chose a place for his son to be born, it wasn’t in a palace to a regal family but a lowly stable, during a time with no mass media or news coverage. A more efficient and effective approach may have been to wait until today when Jesus’ message of love could have truly reached the ends of the earth in a single sound byte.

But I don’t believe our God is that worried about being efficient and effective. Our God is interested in us humans. God wants us to love and be loved in this crazy world we live in. He wants us to be in relationship with him and each other. Relationships are messy and far from efficient, yet we need them.

No, God isn’t worried about efficiency. Our God wants us to know him, to turn to him not just once a year or once a month, but every day, with our every breath. Just as we need to eat and sleep and breathe every day, so we need our God.

What “efficiencies” can you let go of in order to spend more time with God?

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