When Paul the apostle goes about listing characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the first word he uses is “patient.” Love is patient.
Love is slow.
I remembered again Kosuke Koyama’s book, Three Mile an Hour God. I once posted on my personal blog, quoting him, “Is Jesus Too Slow?” He was a Japanese Catholic theologian who “defended a theology that he considered to be accessible to the peasantry in developing nations, rather than an overly academic systematic theology (Wikipedia).” He died a few years ago at the age of 79. A theme throughout the book is the reality of walking with God. The average walking speed is three miles per hour, hence the title.
God walks ‘slowly’ because he is love. If he is not love he would have gone much faster. Love has its speed. It is an inner speed. It is a spiritual speed. It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed. It is ‘slow’ yet it is lord over all other speed since it is the speed of love. It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, whether we are currently hit by storm or not, at three miles an hour. It is the speed we walk and therefore it is the speed the love of God walks.” (Koyama, Kosuke. Three Mile an Hour God. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1979, p. 7.)
How does this strike you? Why not read Koyama’s words once more, a little more slowly.