A lack of patience is probably my greatest downfall. I have plenty of downfalls, but poor patience is my worst. And it’s not just being impatient with traffic, or the waitress at the restaurant. It is impatience with the most important things in life as well. My worst decisions, most hurtful statements, worst purchases, dumbest ideas – can all be tied back to impulse, or lack of patience
When I go through the landmines of my life I cannot help but conclude events would’ve turned out different had I been more restrained and disciplined. What is sad, is that I cannot figure out why I am so impatient, what is it exactly that I am in such a hurry to do? What am I afraid that I am going to miss? How can taking a few minutes, or even days to make a decision be negative? Got me? But somewhere in the recesses of my mine, I am focused on getting it done now.
The world of course does benefit from “get it done now” people. We do keep the herd moving and not wandering astray. I am willing to step in and say “let’s go this way” where others will waffle and overanalyze. But when not harnessed correctly it can be destructive
I’m like a defensive end coming off the corner. At the snap of the ball I am bull rushing – full speed ahead! I have no reverse gear or brake – just a big green GO button (another form of impatience) – that always seem stuck in the “on” position. Here is some home video of me taken from 2012-2014. You will see what I am talking about
The Apostle Paul lists patience as the fourth fruit of the Spirit in his letter to the Galatians (Gal 5:22-23). My “fruit salad” would be missing slices of patience. I am more like the Apostle Peter, often meaning well, but always getting that “why did you say that” look from the crowd? “Really Peter, really? Walk on water, really? Why didn’t you just stay in the boat!” “Genius Pete! You really had to go and say “Let’s pitch a tent for Moses and Elijah.” Don’t you ever think first.”
I am grieved most when I mean well, but total drop the ball due to patience. I am the guy who bakes a cake for someone, but can’t wait for it to cool down before putting icing on. i go to help paint the trim in your house and end up getting paint on your floor, ceiling, cabinets, dog, cat, yard, driveway, lawnmower, checkbook….I am that bad! I would be so horrible at golf, the downtime would kill me! I have to hit something! For the love of God MOOOVE up there!
I can think of several moments over the past 14 years where God distinctly shut the door on something I was getting ready to do. They are very clear and direct, no mistaking the intent. At the same time I wish he would’ve slammed the door on other decisions/choices I have made. But He didn’t, and I live with those decisions.
While I am sure I will get better with time, if for no other reason that the fact that I am aware of my weakness, I have to be honest and admit this will always be an area of weakness for me. I don’t take it lightly either. My lack of patience has definitely caused others harm. To just shrug my shoulders at this would be very selfish. It is an embarrassment, and will continue to cause me grief (and others) until I somehow submit to God’s way of working in His timeframe – on everything.