Monday, October 26, 2015


There are some personal disciplines that I have been able to maintain no matter what else might be going on in my life. For example, over the past ten years I have been amazingly consistent with my exercise. Every three days I spend an hour on my elliptical regardless of whether I feel like it or not. Developing a consistent pattern was not easy, but after a certain amount of time, it just became a part of my life. I recognized how important exercise was to my health and I stuck with it. Today, I rarely even question whether I feel like exercising. I just do it.

However, not all areas of my life are in such good shape. One area that is a total train wreck is my ability to be patient. When I want something I develop a singular focus and will not be swayed. I start to develop a mindset that makes me think that I can run a marathon in just a few minutes when in actuality I can only take one slow, plodding step at a time. Reality sets its own pace regardless of my desires. No action that I take, no worried thoughts that I let sweep across my landscape, no blood-boiling pacing about will make the sun rise any sooner in my east or set any sooner in my west. Yet in such cases where I want something to happen, especially if it is not fully within my control, I rarely let logic get in my way. Patience is a discipline that I just cannot seem to grasp.

When I am in a hurry for something I typically turn to God with my petitions and my concerns. Then I get fooled by my own internal voice thinking that whatever pops into my head is derived from God answering my prayers. I have acted countless times on my own ill-considered schemes thinking that I am being a good Christian with utterances like, "I would rather be obedient and wrong than ignore the promptings and proddings of the Spirit." While that sounds wonderfully pious, it is most often me bull-rushing ahead trying to force things that need time, space, and a lot of hard work.