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 the eggs out. Randall Burkhalter
Impatience has a good and a bad side. It is bad to be so impatient that we recklessly force things along before they are ready and end up with something worse than what we started with. We should use our impatience to keep us moving forward, but in such a way that we also have enough patience to insure an acceptable outcome. Too much haste causes unacceptable waste.
The objective is to use the desirable qualities of impatience to 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” and get it done; it is bad to be in such a big rush that we push things faster than they are capable of moving.
Taking unwarranted 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. Getting things done at the sacrifice of unacceptable risk, poor quality, or having to compromise can be the end result of too much hurry.
Impatience implies we are not satisfied with the 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 some speed (impatience) while moving forward in a safe and responsible way (patience). Progress can be made with acceptable speed and with minimum risk and danger. The younger we are the more we tend to exhibit too much impatience (recklessness). The older we are the more we tend to exhibit much more 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 at a pace that does not sacrifice quantity or speed at the sake of too much risk or unacceptable results. It does no good to leave a wake of destruction as a result of being impatient.
Challenge: Are you so impatient that you do more harm than good? Are you in such a hurry that you are 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 are doing what we know needs doing and we are trusting that good results will come.
Prayer: Help me to be able to balance the “good” aspects of impatience with “wise” patience”.