Success comes through the action of patience.
Patience can get a bad rep because most people associate patience with not doing – with waiting – because you aren’t in charge of what comes next. You’re waiting for the job offer to come. You’re waiting for the results to arrive. You’re waiting for the child to be born.
But patience is much more than waiting.
Waiting for the Good Things
“Good things come to those who wait.”
The saying followed me from childhood to adulthood. Looking back, it was probably words formulated to keep children in line and behaving before an event or holiday. But I took the words to heart, and I waited.
Despite my waiting, my BIG DREAM goals never showed up.
Until I started being intentional bout what I was doing. Every intentional act I took while I was waiting was followed closely by an open door.
You’d think I’d have caught on, but I didn’t.
After stepping through the open door, I’d go back to waiting. For a season, I’d look out and look around and wonder why the good things hadn’t come. After all, I was waiting.
But then I’d get intentional about what I was doing and an opportunity would arrive.
Obviously, I’ve made the connection now, but in the moments of waiting, I kept forgetting that I need to be patient for the results but actively invested in their growth.
The Practice of Bearing Fruit
After we planted our first vegetable garden, I worked every day doing something in the garden. At the harvest, we had an abundance of vegetables for us and to share with friends and neighbors.
The next year, the vegetable garden planning got a bit ambitious. We tripled the size and that meant an even greater requirement for investment. I made the assumption that m family would jump in with me and help me where I fell short.
Ultimately, you are the only person you can count on in your action plan, so I overcalculated the manpower help and underestimated the required personal investment. When harvest time arrived, we had less than the first year even though we’d planted much more.
What was the difference?
What I chose to do while I was waiting for the harvest was what made the difference when harvest time arrived. Both years, I had to wait. But the first year I invested more in being intentional with my time as I waited.
Patience Is An Action Verb
“By your patience possess you your soul.” I had my a-ha moment with these words from Luke 21. You can’t possess something without taking it. You can’t take something without action.
When I was pregnant with my first child, it took many months before I got to meet him. I had to wait, but while I waited, I had to do other things. I couldn’t just sit for all those months and wait. I had to prepare for what was coming.
When I was going to my first writing conference, I had to wait until I got there. But I had go to get there. It didn’t happen while I was waiting. It happened because I took action to get there while I waited.
The Action of Patience
According to the 1828 version of the Webster Dictionary, patience is the constancy of labor or exertion. It embraces the quality of waiting without discontent.
The action of patience is continuing in what you need to do, embracing the joy of the journey so that you can remain content as you go.
- Define what you can do. You can’t do it all, but there are some things you can do.
- Determine what you can’t do. Let go of what you can’t do so you can stay content in what you can do.
- Keep going. Let the momentum of the first action feed the momentum for the next actions so your stay in the action of patience.
- Remember the truth. The Truth lies in the promise and the promise will not only set you free it will give you wings to fly.
Patience is more than a virtue. It is a powerful verb that lifts you up into your possibilities. But it is also an action verb, not a passive verb. By your patience possess you what you are called to live. Through your action pf patience, you grow up into your unique design.
How will you embrace the action of patience today?