When people talk about patience these days, they often equate it to our fast-paced world that seeks instant gratification. Our technology was made to make our lives more efficient, and with every device that brings us closer faster, the faster we expect to move. We used to cook over a fire, but that wasn’t fast enough, so we created electric and gas stoves. Stoves took too long, so we found a way to use microwaves to warm up pre-made meals and leftovers, along with a myriad of devices that cook the same food in different ways. The faster it gets us in our cars and off to work or school, the more it’s worth its money.
God transcends the timelines we’ve created for ourselves. The American society has a timeline that almost seems rigid due to its popularity. Go to college as soon as you get out of high school, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, travel or do any of the fun things you’ve waited your whole life to do. We’ve become so accustomed to this plan that we never stop to consider whether or not it makes sense. Financially, wouldn’t it make more sense to find a job after high school to be able to afford college, instead of putting yourself behind with a ridiculous amount of debt for a twenty-something to have? Wouldn’t it make sense to have time to explore life outside of the school district before deciding what degree to pay all that money for, a degree that you don’t know if you’ll like because you have no life experiences? Why do parents put so much pressure on having kids right after marriage, wouldn’t it make more sense to have a few years with just your spouse to discover them as your husband or wife before bringing children into the mix? The one that baffles me the most is when people wait until after they retire to travel and do fun things. It’s not always possible, but if I could break out of this structure I would like to be able to go on more adventures before my body gets tired.
There’s one more important reason why a rigid schedule for your life may not be the most ideal way to live your life: God’s plan. Whether He takes His time or speeds things up, I need patience to deal with and understand His ways. His timing doesn’t have a structure, it doesn’t have a Good Timing or Bad Timing gauge. He puts people into our lives when He is ready. He takes people out of our lives when He is ready. He closes doors (sometimes slams doors) shut and opens windows when He is ready. With a holy book and so many ways to connect to God, you would think that we wouldn’t be so surprise by His actions or the way He moves in our lives, but He never fails to put on a good show.
This is why not having patience pushes me away from my heavenly Father. When I’m not willing to wait for His timing, no matter what it is, I begin to make actions that don’t coincide with His plans. When He gives me things I didn’t expect to have just yet and I don’t hold onto the patience needed to handle them, I retreat away from a challenge He wants me to complete in faith. Whether He’s testing my patience or expecting me to have it, it’s never a dull moment in His love.