Faith in a microwave world

Published 1:09 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

by Andrew Book

Recently, various social media outlets had a rash of posts about microwaving turkeys. The idea was to invite young adults to text their moms and ask “How long should I microwave a 25-pound turkey” and see what kind of responses they received. The responses from various moms were quite funny, but the fact that many moms thought their kids were trying to microwave a 25-pound turkey highlights just how much of a microwave world we live in.

We want everything to happen quickly, whether it be cooking in a microwave, expecting overnight shipping on any order we place, or looking for a major impact from diet, exercise, or any other life change in a few weeks. We are an impatient people who are encouraged to be ever more impatient by a world of marketing that tells us, constantly, that “you deserve it now” and “don’t wait to have the _____ of your dreams.”

The problem with our microwave mentality is things which really matter in life take time. True relationships take time. Living a balanced, healthy life takes time. Growing into the person you want to be takes time. Developing a life changing faith takes time. I have been married for over a decade and my relationship with my wife is much richer and deeper today than it was the day we got married. This is true not simply because the years have passed, but because we have intentionally developed our relationship as we have been together over the years. Relationships thrive in a slow-cooker. So does faith.

A common story in the church is to hear about people who have a powerful encounter with God during a time of worship and dive into a life of faith and service. For a time, faith is all sunshine and roses.  However, when faith begins to get hard — such as in times of grief, hardship or conflict — they throw in the towel and write the entire enterprise off as a mistake. These people expected faith to blossom quickly and always be easy and exciting, but you don’t have to look beyond the Jesus Christ, the Son of God himself, who was tortured and killed to see that faith is not always easy!

The challenge of developing long-term faith is not new to our microwave world. Jesus taught that there would be people who would struggle with slow cooking their faith. After talking about four different kinds of “seeds” that represent how different people respond to the Good News, Jesus said, “20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word” (Matthew 13:20-21). This is not a new problem, but the microwave expectations of our world make it especially hard to be people of faith today.

Faith is not a quick-fix to life. There is no equal to the power and strength of faith in helping us live life well, but having an encounter with God or “accepting” Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior are not one step methods for developing a deeply rooted faith that can support you during the challenges and hardships of life. Deep faith does not just happen. There are some people who have a gift of faith that wells up from a deep spring in their soul, but most us have to intentionally work to grow our faith —and we do it because we have seen something that we want in our lives.

Growing faith happens when we make practices of faith a priority. When we set aside time, energy, and resources to grow our faith, our faith grows. The season of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter) is a time the church has set aside for growing in our practices of faith. Many people continue the practice of “giving something up” for Lent, but rarely do we take time to truly consider how our faith needs to grow before we give up chocolate!

This year, Lent begins on March 1, and I would like to invite you to take the rest of February to ask yourself a few questions. First, ask, “Do I want my faith to grow enough that I will put time and energy into growing faith?” If the answer to that question is yes, ask this, “How can I grow my faith in a way that will truly feed my soul?”

If you need some help answering this question, I will be walking the community at Courtland United Methodist Church through a new type of faith practice each week in February through Facebook Live and YouTube videos (follow me on Facebook or find the videos on our website at  You can also sign up for updates by emailing the church office at

Grow your roots this year! Faith is worth the effort, but you will likely never discover life-sustaining faith if you are not willing to put in the time to slow-cook your faith!

ANDREW BOOK is the pastor of Courtland United Methodist Church. He can be contacted at 653-2240 or