We are an instant gratification society. We want it now. We want it fast. We want it easy. But this isn’t always very practical or healthy. Recently, my son was impatiently wanting a movie to play before the DVD player even had time to get the disc into the machine. I tried to explain that when I was a little girl we didn’t even have a VCR and that we had to wait for movies like Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz to come on once a year on regular TV. This of course, led to a look of bafflement and pity from his sweet little face. He got really thoughtful. I happily thought that I really must have helped him understand the need for patience. Then he frowned and said, “but Mom, what’s a V-C-R?” Good grief. The point, of course, that I was trying to make with my five year old is that not everything can or should happen instantaneously. The best things take time, effort, and commitment. Whether it’s cooking a decent healthy meal (which really can happen in 30 minutes but often not in 10), making a new friend, learning to do a new thing (like getting your budget written and working for you), finally and completely getting out of debt (it’s taken us more years than I like to admit but we’re ALMOST there!) or waiting for that favorite movie to load into the machine. We have come to expect things worth having to come easily. We throw in the towel too quickly when something doesn’t give us results as fast as we think we should be getting them. As technology drives us faster and faster, we think those results should be coming at an even more rapid clip. But things that happen too fast and too easily often don’t hold our hearts or give us a sense of accomplishment or gratitude. Things that stick with you take work and take time. As a favorite singer of mine says, “if it all just happened overnight, we wouldn’t know how much it means.” If you’re trying to make some positive and practical changes in your life and your struggling with it because it’s not happening quickly, whether it’s trying to be a little healthier in the kitchen or with your wallet, or any other endevour that’s pulling your heart, take your time. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But it also ends at the END of the thousandth mile. If you stop on step three, you only have a journey of three whole steps. Keep going. Whatever it is, all those steps will make it well worth it and it will hold your heart all the more for it.
So, what goals are you impatiently struggling with today? What helps you stay the course?
As I studied the books of first and second Samuel, I learned that David was anointed by God at a young age, but he went through 22 years of growth after his anointing before he actually became king of Israel. We were not created for instant gratification; usually when we get success quickly, we also become prideful. Time teaches us humility! Thanks for the reminder…and, I love that song too!
What a great point you make! Quick successes do make us prideful and are usually the ones easiest to forget. I love your thoughts on David today. I’m glad you brought that up! Thanks!