First I had to go to the dentist who told me to go to the orthodontist. Then I had to go to the orthodontist who sent me to the specialist. After that I had to go to the specialist to get two teeth pulled. Then I had to wait for the wounds to heal. Then I had to go back to the orthodontist to get my braces. Now I am waiting to get used to eating and talking with braces and a plate in the top of my mouth that will keep my brackets from breaking and my teeth from chipping. All of this to achieve a lifelong dream that I thought would never be realized- having a beautiful set of teeth. EVERY part of the process was important and necessary. EVERY part of the process seemed to be longer and slightly more aggravating than the part before it, but the truth remained that if I wanted beautiful teeth, I HAD TO ENDURE EVERY STEP OF THE PROCESS and FOLLOW THE STEPS in the right order to get me to the right place at the right time.
In a microwave society where everything- from groceries from the local store to ill gotten fame from someone else’s pain posted on social media- can be accomplished so quickly, it is no easy task to wait things out! We have become spoiled by the erroneous thinking that we can plant seed one day and see an entire garden the next. We expect to go to the gym three times and see years of weight gain come off instantly. We want to take a vitamin supplement or prescribed medication one day and feel better automatically. We expect to tell a friend we are sorry for a wrongdoing done several times and see the benefit of forgiveness immediately. Do you see the pattern? Processes that are meant to take a long time are meant to take a long time for a reason. How can we expect to reap immediate rewards from a process that we are not willing to be committed to for an extended amount of time? When we see others that are successful or have “made it”, why do we rarely stop to think about all the work that was done BEHIND the scenes BEFORE all the “good” that we witness? Many times we are actually living on someone else’s perception of where we should be in our lives at a certain point, and we replay that conversation in our own head over and over again.
“I should have been married!” (Not if you aren’t healed from the last heartbreak.)
“I should be further along in my career!” (Not when you refuse to be mentored or go to school for more training.)
“I should have lost more weight by now!” (Not if you are working out but still have poor eating habits.)
“I should have been chosen for the promotion!” (Not if you come into work late three times a week and complain about every extra task your employer needs you to do.)
Patience and endurance have become outdated terms in the era of the “get rich quick” schemes. Invest a little bit and get a lot back- quickly. We have lost the art of knowing how to wait because many things can be gotten so in a short amount of time with a small investment of effort…..but are those the things that we really want?
There are two reasons why you are exactly where you are right now on your journey- your DECISIONS and your DESTINY. Our life is a manifestation of the decisions we have made- both the good and the bad ones. We don’t just wake up to a life that we had nothing to do with building. Our thoughts, our habits, our words and our choices have had a considerable hand in building the life that we live today. The first step in having patience in the process is understanding that you are not just haphazardly where you are for no reason. It is necessary to take ownership of the part that you played in getting where you are now. Ownership empowers you because you realize that you DO have power to change the course of your life by the decisions that you make. By the same token, your destiny, your purpose, your passion, the reason why you were born- is hinging on the fact that you will learn in this moment what it is that you need to go the the next step. You must be patient in the process because patience keeps you from rushing to attain something or get somewhere, and it allows you to STOP and listen for the lesson. If you are on the infamous time clock- whether it is yours or someone else’s- you are constantly trying to get “there” instead of soaking up the lessons and the wisdom that your right now has to offer you. You miss the opportunity to ask the important questions- How can you grow where you are RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW? What valuable lesson about life do you need to master on this level not only to get to the next step but to be able to maintain once you get there?
I know. Patience in the process is much easier said than done. It sounds cute and morally correct to “stop and smell the roses” and understand that “success is a journey- not a destination.” BUT it is doable. Once you train your mind to see the good in wherever you are in your life, you will find it. Once you practice TRUST- trusting God that you are exactly where you need to be and you will move forward once it is TIME- then it becomes easier and easier to practice having JOY ON THE JOURNEY, and undoubtedly patience comes as a result. So STOP, LOOK for the lesson and ENJOY the moment that you are in. You will never have this moment again.
DO NOT RUSH.
DO NOT DOUBT.
DO NOT FRET.
EVERYTHING WILL UNFOLD EXACTLY HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO AND EXACTLY WHEN IT IS SUPPOSED TO, and you will KNOW it in your heart when it is time to make a move.
TRUST and BE PATIENT. The journey is always better with trust and patience as your companions.