The P Word
My father-in-law recently shared a story with me about a 1971 Aggies vs. Hayward football game affectionately called the “miracle game”. His team, the Aggies, were down fifteen points with twenty seconds left in the game. Through clinched teeth and true grit the Aggies scored two touch downs and made the two-point conversion to put them up thirty to twenty nine for the win. “This is one of the greatest lessons I've ever learned,” Dad said. “No matter how bad it seems, you can always accomplish your goal; even up to the last minute.”
Let’s Face It
In today’s generation, the art of patience has been nearly lost. I no longer have to cook or even shop for groceries, instead I can have ready made meals delivered to my front door. I no longer have to wait to share information with my friends because they can see exactly what I’m doing, just as it’s happening. It’s unnecessary to leave the comfort of my home to shop for virtually anything; I can click on anything I want and it will be at my door with free two-day shipping. The ever-increasing commerce of this age has made our lives easier while making character harder to obtain. What we can often fail to understand is that every great dream, vision, promise and hope can, and will be faced with opposition. Because of this, we end up trading our greatest dreams for the road of least resistance.
James 1:3 says “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Our greatest dreams can only be realized on the other side of opposition. It is only endurance, or patience, that builds the character needed to sustain the dream once it’s obtained. Patience, however, is not simply waiting for something to happen; It’s hopeful endurance.
Stay Wit It
The word patience is almost synonymous with words like waiting, boring, frustrating and DMV. Even though patience may involve waiting, biblical patience involves consistency. We must apply patience toward the right thing long enough to get results. If the instructions on my microwave dinner say three minutes, I can’t take it out at one minute and expect it to be ready for consumption. In the same way, I can’t prematurely abandon my dreams when there’s delay.
When I first started playing guitar, I had to force my fingers to make the shapes and practice those shapes enough to commit them to memory. I remember being surrounded by great musicians who were far more proficient than my amateur fingers would allow me to be. I would get discouraged watching them play through complex pieces while I was stuck on learning how to strum without my pick falling in the sound hole. I quickly learned that if I continued to play the comparison game, I’d always be stuck marveling at the achievements of others, having none of my own. I used to whisper to myself “everyone has to start somewhere,” then I’d put my head down and learn. The consistency we invest in any given thing, determines the return we see after patience has had its way. We must stay with it until the dreams and promises of God are fulfilled in our lives.
What are the dreams you have within you that haven’t come to pass yet? What promises of God are you waiting for? What have you envisioned and what hope have you lost? Pick up that dream, dust it off and apply patience. If you’re consistent in your pursuit, your life will finally realize what you’ve only dreamt of up until now. Your dreams are tailor made for you and God wants to fulfill them through you alone.