Our patience will achieve more than our force. Edmund Burke
Patience and fortitude conquer all things. Ralph W Emerson
Impatience is killing the Golden Goose to get to the eggs. Randall Burkhalter
Impatience has a good and a bad side. It is bad to be so impatient we recklessly force things along before they are ready and end with something worse than what we started with. Impatience is sometimes getting in too big a hurry. We should use our impatience to keep us moving forward, but in just such a way we also have enough patience to insure an acceptable outcome. Too much haste can cause unacceptable waste.
We should most carefully use the desirable qualities of our impatience and stay on task, focus and see things through. Sometimes this is a fine line and a delicate balance. It is good to want to “hurry it up”, move on, and get it done; it is bad to be in such a big rush that we push things faster than they should or can go.
Taking unwise shortcuts or skipping important details to get something done faster can be costly. Trying to cross a busy intersection before looking both ways may cost us our life. Building a house and not taking the time to use enough nails may leave us a house that falls down on our heads. Too much rushing to get finished using unacceptable risk, poor quality, or unwisely compromising can lease us with unwanted results.
Impatience implies we are not satisfied with current status quo and want to move forward leaving something less desirable for something better. We want to get there as quickly as possible. Impatience has to be balanced with patience. Using an analogy, impatience is like the accelerator in our automobile and patience is like the brake. Using the two together is finding a balance between going forward with speed (impatience) while moving forward in a safe and responsible way (patience). Progress should be made with acceptable speed and minimum risk and danger. The younger we are the more we are prone to exhibit too much impatience (recklessness). The older we are the more we tend to maybe exhibit too much patience (complacency). A good mixture of both, using whichever is needed, allows us to keep moving forward while at the same time being under control.
We should want to get things done but only at a pace that does not sacrifice the likelihood of our achieving acceptable results. We should learn how to use both patience and impatience in concert with each other.
Challenge: Are you so impatient that you do more harm than good? Are you in such a hurry that you do not balancing getting the desired result with proper caution and safety? You cannot go faster than the process will allow you to go. Your eagerness to get there must not be at the sacrifice of creating something that was too costly or even worse than the problem you were trying to solve. You must progress at a manageable speed.
Wisdom: A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patently wait, and the ripe fruit at length falls into his lap. Abraham Lincoln
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Patience is a virtue. It should be alive and active. It does not mean complacency and accepting the unacceptable. It means we are moving forward with faith and confidence. It means that we trust that God will help provide us what we need. We move forward doing the best that we can, seeking to get better and better, and walking closer and closer with him. We do what we know needs to be done and we are trusting that the results will come.
Prayer: Help me to be able to balance the “good” aspects of impatience with “wise” patience”.