Saturday, October 18, 2014

Patience is a Virtue

Patience has never been one of my strong suits, at least not since I was a kid building Legos or playing with Matchbox cars.

I find myself, as everyone does, growing older each day.  Learning more about the world we live in and more about myself.  Over the last few weeks I've learned a valuable lesson, a lesson in patience.

Lately, I’ll agree and I’ll be the first to say that I am no poster child for the patience movement.  I drive fast, which leads to road rage.  I hate to wait in lines.  For Christ’s sake if the drive thru lane takes more than a minute I’m getting antsy anymore.

They say, “Good things come to those who wait.” 

The question is, how long?

Eight years.  That’s the approximately how long the American Revolutionary War lasted.

The American patriots knew it would be a long road, especially fighting against the world’s best army at the time, but they did it anyway.  Eight years they fought a war that they nearly came close to losing a number of times.  Eight years they were able to stick to a plan, a vision, an ideal that kept them going through all of the bad times and all of the losses.

Furthermore, the story of Valley Forge, where General George Washington and his troops nearly lost not only their lives, but the cause as well.  With morale very low and food and supplies even lower the patriot army hunkered down for the winter in Pennsylvania. 

Despite a very long winter and a span of six months, the Americans came out of Valley Forge with a renewed vigor and a taste for liberty. 

After receiving a number of new supplies nearly three months into their stay in Valley Forge, the troops also acquired training from some Frenchmen that were newly appointed allies in the war on Britain.

The point I am trying to make is that without hardships and without obstacles, there is no way we know what we are really capable of.  George Washington was known for acknowledging that the soldiers went through a very dark and desperate time during the war, but these hardships instilled the values of perseverance and the ability to endure anything.  These renewed soldiers used this momentum from inside and spring boarded off of the winter of 1777-78 and by the fall of 1778 had won the war.

Today, most people are in such a hurry to get things done and are always wanting to save time.  The problem is they get so caught up in rushing that they forget to slow things down and admire the time they are in now. 

My situation, which I solely believe can only be cured by the passage of time, will no doubt work out the way I hope it does.  I have faith, a clear goal and know what I want.  Trying to rush things has never led to anything good for me, so if I have to use the brake pedal to get things right, it’s not going to kill me. 

History, whether you like it or not, can teach us a number of lessons.  What happened to you has undoubtedly happened to someone else out there before.  If you look at what those people did, what worked and what did not, you will be able to better figure out your own situation. 

Thanks to the past and the urging of a few close friends, I can now clearly see that taking a little extra time to get things right is the obvious choice. 

I've now realized that the question shouldn't be how long, but how long am I willing to wait?

The answer to that question surprised me, and frankly it’s a nice change.  The answer I came up with is, “as long as it takes.”