Learning to be patient has to be one of the hardest battles of my life. I used to think I was a pretty patient person; however, I’m slowly realizing that I may not be as patient as I originally thought. I’m willing to wait a certain amount of time, then something comes over me and I just get antsy. As a kid, if my parents told me on Monday, that on Friday at 5 we were going to the park, I could wait to Friday at 5, no questions asked; but if at 5:01 we weren’t at the park or heading to the park, I was trying to figure out what was going on. Even as an adult, if you tell me something starts at 8, then I expect it to start at 8 o’clock sharp. Simple as that! The older I get, the more I realize that I’m not going to be given a date or time with everything. Here lies my problem. I think I’m okay as long as what I’m waiting for is not in my sight. However, the moment that it’s in my view, I don’t want to wait any longer. I just have the urge to reach out and grab it. Learning to not act on that urge is the absolute hardest. It reminds me of an obedience game I play with Sasha. I place a treat or a toy in front of her and make her sit and wait before she can get it. I’ve never made her wait more than a few seconds, but I’m sure those seconds feel like hours to her. At times I feel like God is playing the same obedience game with me. I’m learning that my anxiousness not only affects me, but the people waiting with me.
I recently had a conversation with a track and field athlete. I asked him if he ever got antsy waiting for the gun to sound. He stated that the moments between him stepping into the blocks and the gun actually sounding feels like hours, when in all actuality it’s never more than 30 seconds. He was saying how runners mess up when they anticipate the gun sounding instead of actually listening for it to sound. He then told me a story about losing a race he should have won, after another runner caused 2 false starts. A false start is when a runner takes off before the gun sounds. Even if it’s only a split second before the gun sounds, this seemingly minuscule mistake causes all the other runners to have to go back to the starting line. He was saying that he not only used unnecessary energy to start the race, but after 2 false starts he hesitated when the gun sounded the third time. That brief moment of hesitation, coupled with energy used the first two times, caused him to lose the race. Although the runner that caused the false starts was penalized and unable to race, the damage had already been done.
I know the Bible says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”, so I’m learning not to allow my anxiousness to overtake me. I’m learning to wait for the gun to actually sound instead of anticipating the sound. I’m learning to just “sit” and “wait” for God’s go ahead. It may feel like an eternity to me, but to HIM it could merely be a few seconds. I have to get this right. Not just for me, but for those running with me. I’m sure I’ve had a couple false starts. I’ve even grabbed the reward before HE said go. But this time, I refuse to allow MY desire to overtake HIS will.