Waiting. I hate waiting. We wait in lines at the store. We wait in the drive-through. We wait for cars in front of us to get moving as the light turns green. We wait for new pages to load on the Internet. Waiting.
O.K., that’s not really waiting very much, isn’t it? I mean, at the store, we might have a couple people ahead of us, but does it really take all that long? And the drive-through is certainly faster than sitting down and placing an order at a restaurant, right?
Even though they might not react quite as quickly as we would like, those few cars in front of us will get themselves going in just a few seconds. And unless we’re still on dial-up, those webpages will load sooner rather than later.
So why are we frustrated with these small, almost insignificant inconveniences? We’ve become such a get-it-now society that even minor inconveniences set us off.
We are so programmed to get-it-now, that we sign up for text alerts so we don’t have to check back every so often. We can fill our virtual shopping cart without ever having to go shopping, or even having to use a cart
But those changes are actually pretty convenient, and have (mostly) made a contribution to society. Where we’re really lacking, is in patience for the big things.
Several generations ago, people saved up for things. Credit cards weren’t in our wallets. If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t get it, and that was alright. But now, when we want something, most of us just go and get it, myself included. When we’re confronted with having to wait to do something, it rubs against the grain.
At the fitness center, I’ve had people tell me they need to lose 50 lbs so they can fit in their bridesmaids dress, in three months! Not that it’s not possible, but it’s lots of work, and takes a full-out commitment. Most people will need twice that long, or more.
Perhaps the most troubling development is in how our kids are losing the ability to think long-term. Fifteen years ago, I had a bunch of black belt junior students that were working on their second degree black belt. Now, it’s rare to see a child last long enough to earn their first degree. I want to change that.
Perhaps we need to improve the process, and I’m working hard to do that. But I’ve noticed that it’s harder for this new generation to catch a long view of things, especially when the whole family is living in the get-it-now moment.
There are lessons to be learned through waiting. I don’t like them. I never have. I just want to get on with the program, and get things done. But patience is something I need, especially for some of the “bigger things” we’re trying to accomplish.
Like getting new mats for our new martial arts center. Already $7,500 into this project, I just have to wait awhile to earn the other $7,500 needed for new mats. We can use the old ones until then. Besides, the rest of the center is looking awesome. More on this later.
Or waiting for that new inspirational music video to finally be ready to share. It doesn’t matter that the song was written two years ago, recorded a year ago, and we shot the video 6 months ago. These things take time (lots of time) and it’s not my time anyway. More on this later, too.
Or seeing our community have a new drug dog, and other tools needed to help enforce drug crime. It’s too big for me to do now, by myself, but it’s not too big when we all start working together on it. More on this one soon, I hope. Because this one can’t wait, and it shouldn’t.
We need to intentionally work on waiting. We need to teach our kids that it’s ok to wait, and show them we’re waiting too. We need to learn that waiting isn’t a bad thing.
Some things take time. It’s even in the Bible: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV). I can’t wait!