“Hurry! Time’s awaistin’! Just get ’er done!” Ever had the dogs of impatience nipping at your heels, or worse yet, screaming in your head? Sure there are times when expedience is paramount, even life-saving. Yet much of life does not require such a high adrenaline response. Or the demand to chugga-chugga-chugga to produce-produce-produce when there’s really no gas in one’s tank.
That old phrase, “I want patience – NOW!” resonates deeply within us when we run up against the wall that won’t move, the solution that just won’t come, and the ongoing waiting-waiting-waiting, forever it seems. Should I be surprised that the birth of a dream, or of any endeavor, might take awhile? Most births in the natural world take time: humans – about 9 months (274 days); African elephants – 600-750 days; mice – 20-23 days. If you are a Virginia opossum you might win the shortest mammalian gestation time of 12-13 days, only to take second place to the striped-face dunnart (an Australian marsupial mouse) delivering at 11 days. And in each of these created beings, can hurrying or impatience speed up the process of gestation? (No!) Of course even these may need defer to others with shorter gestation times in the various phylum of creation, all only to bow to the Creator who created man in less than a day, and the whole of the universe in 6 days! Imagine!
Impatience, like a whirly-gig, spins and spins. Sometimes it throws me out of kilter, churning up emotions that needed not be ruffled. It certainly does not further my hopes; it just gives me a headache, or ekes out in irksome ways. It might turn me onto a path of unforeseen consequences that I will regret. In all, no matter what, there seems to be a lesson waiting, if I would slow down to grasp it.
Happily, no matter how unwise I have been in my choices, there is still hope. Like a silly top spinning til it drops, I can rest in my paused position. And learn. See the reality of where I’ve landed; honestly embrace who I am and what my choices have birthed; and cling to hope as I lean into the truths of lessons awaiting me.
“You really screwed up this time! There’s no going back now! You’ve really let us down!” Our minds, invaded by whispers of the enemy of our souls, will pick away at our embarrassment and humiliation, whenever we think we have failed. It’s like double-speak. We were supposed to hurry it up, and now we’ve screwed up? No wonder God wants us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a, NKJV). To take the time to slow down and listen to Him. To learn the sound of His voice so we are not confused when a plethora of other voices shout directions. It is here in God’s peace that we may overcome impatient’s folly, or any other reason we find for the mess we’re in. Standing before Him, whether for admonition or solace, the love of a good God never fails to comfort us.