“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity,
but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Shortcuts are a method people use to try to accomplish more tasks in less time. But there are some things in life that we can’t rush. Patience is not like fast food; it is more like Thanksgiving dinner (unless you have fast food for Thanksgiving, and in which case, skip this section!).
I am an impatient person by nature. Can you relate? I despise waiting in line, I hate the three-day waiting period, and being stuck in traffic elevates my stress levels. The temptation for people like me, and I suppose many others, is to take shortcuts to accomplish our goals. I want things to move faster, people to change quicker, problems to be resolved in an instant.
Inventors are coming up constantly with new contraptions to make our life easier. Awhile back I read a study done decades ago, which projected that in the 1980s, people would work fewer hours, have more free time, and have an easier life because of all the coming time-saving inventions. The exact opposite has happened! Even with all our advances, we are still looking for less complicated lives but find disappointment instead.
There is a direct connection between impatience and taking shortcuts, for taking shortcuts is the external manifestation of an internal reality. A biblical principle that has helped me deal with my impatience is this:
You can’t do much to accelerate God’s blessing,
but you can do a lot to delay it.
The Bible speaks about “the appointed time” and “a time and a season for everything.” Timing is everything as we deal with spiritual issues. One of the clearest examples of this principle is the journey that the people of Israel took from Egypt to the Promised Land. A reading of the last chapters of Genesis as well as the book of Exodus will show the danger of impatience. A journey that should have taken days took decades. Why? Impatience and a bad attitude. Every time the Israelites said, “We don’t like our leaders,” God said, “One more time around the desert.” Every time they complained about the water, the food, or anything else, God said, “One more time.” The truth is that one of the fastest ways to delay your blessing is a bad attitude. It makes us say things like
· Why couldn’t I have married her/him?
· Why won’t God bless me?
· Why don’t my kids behave like those children?
· How come he’s in that position and I am not?
· Why did she get married and I’m still single? I mean God, have you seenher?
You know how God responds? “One more time . . .” If your life seems to be stuck in the desert, and you are moving but not really going anywhere, one of the first things to check would be your attitude. If your attitude is one of impatience, a correction needs to be made immediately. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when we must act decisively, when we must go forward in Jesus’ name. But a lot of damage has been done because
· we moved ahead without godly consensus
· we left before it was time
· we started a project without God’s blessing.
Don’t confuse activity with progress. We confuse movement with advance, action with success, and program implementation with personal growth. The question is not whether we have things going on, but if God is leading.