KELLY JOHNSON writes in God does not hurry (see ++ below)

In a beautiful reflection on time, Tolkien * wrote of creation as a work of music, a theme declared by the creator, Ilúvatar, and sung by the angels in their many voices. They

began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void …

The gift of time is musical, moving at a pace that is fluid but ordered, growing to fullness without racing to get finished. The beat may be fast or slow, but the good musician knows not to hurry. Time is not the enemy, something to be gotten through; it is tempo, carrying mobile harmonies. Although sin enters in through one angel who wants to win glory by introducing his own themes, Ilúvatar continues to weave the music through to its end, not silencing the discordant elements, but introducing a new theme,

… and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity.

Jesus does actually tell a story about God hurrying … rewarded with the sight of the prodigal on the road home, then God hurries, casting all caution to the wind, racing out to meet this lost child. The love that waits, scandalous in its patience, will finally be unreserved in its haste to welcome us into the feast of reconciliation. In the meantime, we wait in joyful hope.

* JRR Tolkien, The Silmarillion (London, 1977)

++ God does not … (chapter 3: God does not hurry) D Brent Latham, Editor, Brazos, 2009