Everything of value will require its time for investment, for nurturing, for completion.
The trouble comes when there are too many good things to do at once. Panic strikes, or a resentful resolve to fight stoically through persists. We want all our good things at once, and, especially in the light of modern convenience, we foresee what can be claimed and we want it, badly. And there’s so much of it. We’re force-fed and much of this force-feeding isn’t good for us. It doesn’t make us any happier; it actually prolongs our emptiness.
We’re apt to live lives where patience is aborted and grappling with anything and everything becomes mainstream. We forget, very easily, the following truth:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
... a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away.”
~Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 (NRSV)
Life – A Place Where No Comfortable Destination Exists
As the ancient teacher, Qoheleth, above, suggests life is comprised of seasons. We each have our winters and summers and those between. Over the expanse of life we do get to touch comfort, and we feel blessed. Then soon another season gently sweeps in. We go from comfort and quiet harvest, to lack and a degree of soul-searching.
Life requires us to “throw away” what we’ve previously deemed as precious. It seems so unfair.
We’re tempted by, and may fall into, resentment. ‘Why has this good life passed me by? Things were so good, so neatly perfect, so surreal, two years ago.’ Or, ‘I’ve been working hard at this for years, without the results I’m expecting. When will things turn?’ These and many more questions, we ask. Most of our lives are spent unsatisfied if we expect happiness as a destination and to be there every day.
No comfortable, self-actualised place exists, for any length of time at least.
When we join with our budding realism a sense for what is before us, what lies still in the future, we can approach happiness today independent of how we feel regarding our achievements or what we don’t yet have.
For Those Having Just Started Anything Significant
The commencement of the journey is always tremulous. Not many of us thrive salaciously on a challenge requiring great work, passion, initiative, and diligence. We’re mostly daunted by the thought of such attributes. We easily forget it was our faith that got us to this point, and God’s faithfulness has seen us through.
Starting anything significant, or being a significant distance away from the completion of it, is only daunting if we polarise on what we don’t have rather than on what we have. Entertaining the idea that our lack can produce its own happiness opens us up to a spiritual conquest few are prepared to make.
In the process we will find Patience.
Patience is the path to blessing in the happiness we feel even as we lack, for patience knows and accepts that everything good takes time.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Douglas J. Hoffman.