“Debbie, slow down. Stop running ahead; focus on where you are.” My computer instructor’s words echoed others in my life. My physical therapist said, “I’d rather you go slow and do your exercises right than do more of them.”
I am goal oriented and have this weird compulsion to rush through everything except dessert. Like the child asking, “Are we there yet?” I get antsy to get where I want to be and miss my iPad’s direction symbols.
Why do we rush? I raced through my physical therapy exercises because they were boring. I hurried on the iPad because I wanted to find what I was looking for. But my haste delayed my progress. The goal of exercising was to strengthen my injured areas, not check off my to-do list.
Lack of patience can delay our progression in life too. I see people who feel pressured to act before they have clear direction. They want to leap out of pain or into pleasure. Drop fat and become skinny in a weekend. Get rich quick. Drop a mate and find a new one.
Rushing for a quick fix won’t satisfy for long. Patience and steady steps are better bets for success and make us better people in the process.
The psalmist wrote, “God’s word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path,” (Ps. 119:105, NASB). The image is of someone walking with a lantern in the dark. Your lamp moves with you. After you take the step lit before you, the next step becomes clear. You take that step, and the one after that lights up.
In other words, God guides us one step at a time. When we try to skip steps we miss the wisdom that comes from the process of walking with Him. We also risk injury when we run ahead of the light.
Faith is not a blind leap in the dark. It is stepping into the light we have and trusting God will reveal our next move. When we patiently pray for wisdom, gather information, and consider what we know, our mind clears and the path unfolds. Doing each step well prepares us for what’s next.
So, patiently grieve the loss, let go of the pain, and grow into a stronger person. Change your diet and exercise routine for better health and a new clothes size. Plan, budget, and invest and you will learn how to manage the wealth you are building. Patiently walking through each step brings the best hope for lasting success.
What are you driven to rush? How would focusing on doing each step well help you accomplish what matters most? How does patience in your situation reflect trust in God?
If you’ve slowed down long enough to get this far, pause a bit longer and enjoy this Youtube video of I Need a Silent Night.
Deborah W. Wilson