Shortcuts- Part 2 —  November 6, 2012

In my twenty years in ministry, I have seen people fail in three areas because of impatience and shortcuts:

            1. Relationships. Loneliness can mess with your mind. I understand it’s tough to see all your friends getting married while you are still single. But rushing into a relationship can be devastating. If you feel lonely, get a dog. Don’t rush into love.  

            2. Finances. There is no such thing as a get-rich-quick strategy. In fact, a study of lottery winners demonstrated that many were left without a penny only a short time after winning millions. Trying to invest in pyramid schemes, or lacking research before beginning a financial venture, can leave you penniless and distraught.

            3. Moving. Later on I’ll go into more detail about the desire that some have to leave a situation every time things get a little rough. For now, let me just say that the temptation to flee is a real one, especially when things aren’t going so great. Be careful that you are not running from what seems like an external situation, when in fact the problem might be internal. No matter where you run, an internal problem will follow you there.

            Only God’s power can sustain you for the long haul, so be patient.

            Underneath impatience lies a desire for control. The reason we take shortcuts and end up failing is that we think we know best. The truth is, we don’t. Relinquish everything to God.

            In your life there are things that

·          you will never change—leave those alone.

·         will change slowly—have patience.

·         need changing now—have courage.

The key is to have the divine gift of discernment, to know which is which.

            I like to work around the house. I like to repair, rebuild, restore, demolish, rearrangeyou know, your weekend-warrior type of remodeling. There’s only one problem. I’m not good at it. If I had to earn a living as a handyman, I would die of hunger. That’s the reason I invite my brother-in-law to come work with me in my “projects.” After all, I introduced him to his wife, so he owes me. He is really good at remodeling. You could say he was born with a hammer in his hand and probably remodeled his own crib. He is very detail oriented (I’m not), likes to take his time (I don’t), and doesn’t take shortcuts (I do). One of my favorite expressions I say to try and get him to work faster is “You can’t see that detail from a helicopter.” He just ignores me and continues to work. When it’s all done and I look at the finished product, I’m glad we took our time. A couple of times, however, we’ve done it my way, and some sections of my house are a constant reminder of the fallacy of shortcuts. In life, as in construction, it’s better to measure twice and cut once.

Stay patient. Give up control. Move at the speed God tells you to.

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