If you currently live in Zimbabwe you know all about queuing. We have queues at banks to withdraw our cash, queues at service stations to buy fuel. Queues at bus stops and queues at bus terminals while waiting for cheap government buses. In some suburbs we have queues at water points like boreholes and wells. Nearly everything is in shortage which means nearly everything has a queue.
We are losing hours and hours while we are in these queues. Time is one kind of resource God gave us as we wait for our coming Saviour. We can be in these queues and yet be fruitful in the Kingdom of God. Rather than entertaining ourselves with a lot of social media we can use our time in queues productively for our Christian life and church life to expand the kingdom of grace.
We ought to be good and faithful servants of the time we spend in queues. The parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) calls us to be faithful with the gifts and resources God gives us. Even though these talents in the parable may refer to specific gifts God gives to the believers, they could also refer to the resource of time God gives to his church. At this point in time God gave most of us Zimbabweans time in queues and we ought to use this time as faithfully as we can for the kingdom of grace.
Like the first two good and faithful servants in the parable of the talents we may decide to use our time in these queues in gospel fruitfulness by sharing and proclaiming the gospel. We may decide to hide this time in endless speculation and assumptions on our politics and economy or we can grumble together with unbelievers, or just worry in our heads.
To this end we become more like the unfaithful servant. We may do as the Lord thought the unfaithful servant could have done, investing the talent with the bankers. This may not be us directly getting involved in actions that propagate and proclaim the gospel, but using your time in the queues productively towards your spiritual growth.
Here are some ways we can use the time God gives us like the two good and faithful servants or as the Lord recommends by investing with the bankers.
- While we are queuing for fuel at service stations we can pray for the kingdom of grace, its expansion and progress. We can even pray scriptures if we find ourselves without prayer points. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- In queues for public buses and at bank ATM’s we can initiate gospel conversations by telling our fellow citizens that the core problem is not the leaders but the sin in the world and the need for the gospel in every human being.
- In some noisy queues we can listen to good podcasts and sermons. We should pack our smart phones with audio downloads to listen to. Audio materials to keep us from worrying and grumbling but teaching us to be thankful and encourage us to pray with hearts full of gratitude. (Philippians 4:6)
- For church planters we can meet our target community in these queues. Is it not a blessing? We used not to find people gathered like this now they are at our bus stops or water points, close enough to our target communities.
- As pastors we can now review our sermons in our cars while we are queuing for fuel or in other queues. We get relevant sermon illustrations, analogies, and gospel points from the people we meet and these we can use for our current sermon and future sermons. We can get the worldviews of our fellow Zimbabweans to help us present the gospel to their needs.
- We can read articles when we finally get to sit in the buses after long hours of standing while waiting.
- To those with the giftings of evangelism we have a good audience to preach to. Our audience is here for the next 30 minutes or even hours. God may raise the George Whitefield or the Wesley brothers of Zimbabwe.
- On Sundays after worship service while queuing to get back home we can discuss the sermon we heard and apply it to our lives as those with us in queues listen and hear the gospel.
- We can catch up with our Bible reading plans while we are queuing.
- On our dashboards, let’s stick our favourite book or the book we read once and never understood, we may get new insights as we read it at a different service station.
- We remember those tough classes which the instructors instructed us to carry flashcards in order to pass the course. We are in that class as a nation now, lets carry those scripture passages that speaks of God’s overarching rule and governing over everything least we may worry or grumble.
- We can distribute gospel tracts that articulate the gospel. Someone with a dead battery may put it to use and the Holy Spirit may cause him or her to repent.
These are a few ways we can acknowledge the sovereignty of God in our lives as Zimbabweans. We know that these queues are here for our salvation, they are here to make us more like Christ and to reach the lost with the gospel of grace. Let’s be faithful with these queues and ask the Holy Spirit to help us use them as useful resources. We are waiting for our Lord to return.