For several years I have kept a picture of a kanji symbol on the inside cover of my journal. It is the symbol for “patience” and is defined as To Wait With Certainty – The Art of Allowing Life to Carry You (Wait in the power of knowing what is possible…Do not waver…Remain steady…Remain true to your goals and allow life to carry you. That which is worthwhile is sometimes created slowly.) I had taped this there before I started on my Walk with God but still find great meaning in it because it is exactly the frame of mind needed to stay in God’s plan for me.
As we all know, things to do often work on our schedule but they happen when they happen. The good news is that this is not completely random because we know that He directs our path (Proverbs 16:9). Our challenge is to not outrun our blocking. The sports analogy seemed appropriate because if you ever watch football and see a running back who cannot be patience enough to allow his blockers to get in front of him, you will see what I am talking about. Things usually end badly for him. This is exactly what we do. We begin to think we are fast and no one can catch us but we soon find out differently. I spent the first 20 years of my adulthood doing just this. Time and time again I created my own plan and knew my success was up to me and no one else. I found out differently (more than once). It was not until about 3 years ago that I came to believe that I was not the “master of the universe” and, no matter how hard I tried, I could not solve every problem with sheer force of will.
I actually believe you can develop your ability to be patient if you so choose. You have to become in tune with God’s Word and what He wants from you and in order to do this, you have to “be still”. Anyone who knows me knows this is real challenge for me. As a matter of fact, I can tell I have written in my journal a quote from my wife one evening (as I stood in the living room watching television because I would not sit down) that I needed to learn to be still. It was a defining moment for me as her words really had an impact on me. I do believe that God will deliver messages to us through others if we only listen and this was one of those messages. From that point forward, I consciously began strengthening my patience. I can tell you I am a little better after a year but still have a long way to go.
The difference now is that I know there are things worth waiting for and, more importantly, things you miss if you don’t take the time to look around and allow things to unfold before you. Remember, it is all a matter of perspective because what you think was a waste of time, someone else might view as time well spent…