Can you think of a time when you’ve been impatient for something? Maybe there was a party to go to, or a big event happening, maybe you were going on vacation and the days before just couldn’t go fast enough. We all have things that we’ve been impatient for, I’m sure. I know just recently I became very impatient for a certain event to take place, and when it didn’t turn out just the way I wanted it to, I got upset and a little hurt. It was almost as if the idea of what I had been longing for was better than what had actually taken place. Even though in reality, what had taken place was very good. It’s easy to become impatient. It’s easy to feel discontent and have a desire to rush to the “good part”. It’s like eating a strawberry cream filled piece of chocolate and only wanting the strawberry part. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do things that are exciting and fulfilling. But, if it means that we become discontent with where we are in the moment and forgetting what God has called us to do now, we will never be satisfied.
I think of Veruca Salt in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Although her case of discontentment was rather extreme, dare I say it’s quite possible to relate?
I want today
I want tomorrow
I want to wear ’em like braids in my hair
And I don’t want to share ’em
I want a party with room fulls of laughter
Ten thousand tons of ice cream
And if I don’t get the things I am after
I’m going to scream!
It’s so easy to become impatient. It is so easy to want things right away. Why is that? Is it because our lives are centered around a fast paced society? Maybe because all the information we could ever imagine is right at our finger tips. Or, it could just be because we just don’t like waiting. To be honest, I think that’s it. At least, it is for me. But, what if God’s trying to tell us something? What if He’s saying, I want you to be content right where you are. I have a purpose for you right now. You don’t have to plan for next month, or next year. All I want is that you focus on Me, right here and right now.
Maybe God has given us things, really good things in our lives. But, He’s putting them a little bit out of reach, to save for later. Kind of like when mom would put all the sweets on the top shelf of the cupboard so that little hands wouldn’t steal the goodies before it was time to be enjoyed. The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing.
In the same way that sweets before dinner will “ruin your appetite” I suppose that our own wants, desires, and love for temporary things will prevent us from living a godly life, causing our light to become dim. We need to desire to be a light right where we are. Forgetting about tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Whatever will be happening will come soon enough. We need to be focused on the present and what God wants us to do with each day, each hour and each minute. It’s tough to be content with veggies when it seems like everyone else is already on dessert, but by refusing to accept what’s before us, we could possibly be prolonging the wait. I’d like a spoonful of patience and a serving of contentment, please.