Some pastors, especially young pastors, can be impatient for larger congregations and more public prominence. Sometimes that can be a holy impatience – a desire for greater usefulness, a passion to serve more needy sinners, a longing to develop gifts, etc. Sometimes it’s just naked vanity. However, whatever the motive, God usually keeps us waiting longer than we think necessary. Why? Perhaps He wants us marinated rather than microwaved.
In Obama, Palin met fame before they could grow, Noemie Emery traces the present frustrations and failures of President Obama and Sarah Palin to their over-rapid rise to public prominence.
Two years ago, two superstars lit up a dazzled political universe — young, stunning, lissome, and bursting with talent — and were propelled ahead of their time into prominence, after a minimal time on the national scene.
Two years later, it seems as if this has done them no favors: President Obama is widely seen as “overwhelmed” by his office, and Sarah Palin is meeting resistance establishing her credentials as a possible candidate against rivals with rather more seasoning.
Noemie argues that both would have been more useful and successful if, like Presidents John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, they had marinated longer in semi-obscurity before being thrust into the spotlight.
No one was scanning their words for inadvertent misstatements, or wholly involved in their glory or failure. Like wine, they matured in the dark, over time. Obama and Palin needed the six years or so of semi-obscurity they were about to embark on before ambition — and John McCain — intervened. Instead, their growth was checked at a critical moment, and, as it seems now, won’t be resumed quickly — not in the presidency as Obama is learning, or in a media frenzy, as Palin has found.
It turns out that eight or so years in this sort of semi-obscurity — working away in the state house or Senate, one of a number of solons and governors, growing into and grounding one’s natural talents — is what a good president needs.
They are famous for life; they will always have money; what they can never have back are the years washed out by destructive celebrity. “She’s been microwaved, she needs now to marinate,” somebody once said of Palin. But the time for slow-cooking is gone.
So, next time you long impatiently for a larger ministry, or look jealously at more prominent preachers, thank God that He’s marinating you in the slow-cooker, rather than letting you be frazzled in the microwave.