Abraham wasn’t told to leave his homeland and promised a son until he was seventy-five years old. Isaac was born twenty-five years later. Sure he lived to be 175, but his life was nearly half over before God did much. It’s like God waiting until your mid-thirties to do anything significant. Abraham was still a foreigner in the promise land when he died. Moses spent forty years of his life growing up in the Egyptian court and then forty years in the desert herding sheep and goats. One of Israel’s greatest leaders and speakers didn’t “get started” until the last third of his life. The world greatest world-changer also used a poor strategy to make a difference in the world. He came to an insignificant part of an insignificant province of the Roman Empire. He spent most of his time with the poor and the culturally and politically powerless. Then he was executed. His ministry lasted roughly three years after spending thirty years as a manual laborer. Jesus came to a limited area, for a limited time, to a specific cultural group (Though Jesus interacted with Samaritans and a few Greeks he made it clear that his time on earth was focused on the Jews). If I could control the schedule of God on earth I would start him out ministering as soon as he could walk and talk. He would travel around the most populous and powerful cities; Rome, Alexandria, Athens, Ephesus, and Jerusalem. He would meet with the political and religious leaders; Caesar, kings, and various priests and priestesses. As an Intercultural Studies Major, I would make sure he didn’t ignore the Greeks, Scythians, Romans, and Barbarians. With a lifetime of non-stop ministry he would have time to do it all.
Thank God I am not God. Don’t interpret this as a proposal for a new method of world change. It is just to show that God’s plan for changing culture involves what we would see as a divine waste of time. For this reason I am fighting against my natural desire and attempting to be a slacker, like Jesus. If something comes from it that the world calls success, then that’s God’s business.