The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23
We live in a world of instant gratification, the world of the quick fix.~Rachael Taylor
Rachael Taylor an Australian actor known for being in the first Transformers movie knows something about hard work and struggling. Just as any good actor has experienced, success is not something achieved right away. The quick fix is never God’s way to achieve success, it’s the path through the process by which we have to complete, to get to success. Our instant gratification society we live in tells us you can have instant success with gambling, lottery, weight loss, and buy this now with credit. I can attest to this, I spent 37 years of my life hoping for a quick weight loss miracle, or at least an easier way to get there. There are many easy ways to acquire weight loss, from surgical procedures to food in a box delivered to your door at perfect portions. The thing that most people don’t get when they do these things is they don’t learn a thing about themselves, or what got them to that weight to begin with. In addition, they don’t learn how to eat and exercise to lose and maintain weight. Short cuts, quick fixes, and instant gratification come with a great cost, lack of edification and character building.
Some clear negative factors lead us to wanting instant gratification and lead us away from patience. The first one is envy. Envy is the green monster that rises in our lives when we see something we want badly. We can deny envy and say it’s a “goal” or a “need”, but in reality it’s a want. As an obese person most of my life, I wanted to be thin like my friends, but did not have the determination to get to that point. I would start and then end up not finishing. I would have some small amount of success, but nothing sustainable. Patient determination is the antidote to envy. Patient determination turns that want into a real goal. Sometimes you may find that want is something God does not desire for you.
The next negative factor is that of pride. Pride comes at you though the back door of your soul. This means you are being prideful, but you are unaware of it. Thoughts of not being “like that person” can infiltrate your mind. The antidote to pride is patient humility. No matter how bad “that person” may be to you, you always think of yourself as less. I’m not saying that you diminish your importance, but letting kindness and love be a part of your demeanor. The enemy will test your humility, don’t let pride take over.
When you have the above two things working to negatively influence your life, you will find yourself angry. Anger is not something we are built for. So many physiological factors adversely injure your body when we are angry. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up. If you are not in good shape cardio wise, you can find yourself in dire conditions. The best antidote for anger is persistent patience. An example in my own life of a dream not going through as I had hoped was becoming a personal trainer. I have wanted to become one for a couple of years now, bought this big book to study for the test. Home study is just not for me. I stayed with it for a while, but ended up feeling like a failure, thinking my passion had overtaken reality. The perfect situation I thought would work out didn’t. That is always with God’s path in our lives; we can take a turn and learn that maybe there is a better plan down the road and not for the present time. We came into some funds that really blessed us. My wife saw that one of our community colleges was offering a class on being certified as a personal trainer. The Holy Spirit pushed me to register for that class and take it. It was an accelerated class and was only 5 weeks long, but had a ton of things to learn. The final test was very hard; it consisted of a written exam and a practical exam. After I took the exam, I was not certain if I had passed or not. Monday I got an email saying congratulations you passed. Not only did I pass, but with flying colors. My passion and dream had been met, but not the way I originally thought, but a better way. God’s best.
There is a reason why patience is a virtue, because it gives us the wonderful journey of finding ourselves, building our character, and discovering incredible joy. A very wise and awesome friend of mine always tells people to shoot for your dreams and there is joy in the journey. That statement is so true. Envy, pride, and anger are tools the enemy uses to get us off the path God has set for us and on the path of doing it our way. They are the keys to impatience. Patient determination, patient humility, and just plain patience are the keys to destroying the enemy’s instant gratification that teaches us nothing but distress.
[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.