Waiting. Dream. Never Settle.
Patience is hard. I know it, we all know it and honestly, I hate it. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten better with patience but I know that I’m capable of waiting longer than I have before and with less frustration. Patience in waiting, however, is something new I’ve become aware of and am trying to grasp. I feel like there is a difference between patience and waiting and apparently, the difference is only slight.
Patience – (n.) the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
Waiting – (n.) the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.
The difference is that patience is an ability to control one’s attitude while waiting is the ability to control one’s action. Patience was something Dad worked on me with first but now He’s wanted to working on my ability to wait. Back in mid-July, I found out that my car had some wear on the frame that was compromising its suspension and safety. In September I had to give up driving it and later that month Dad told me I’d be getting a new car if I waited. Today I am still waiting and it’s been hard. My patience and ability to maintain an attitude that this situation is tolerable have been fine, but not acting to try and make something happen have been much more difficult, that’s waiting. When Dad tells you to wait, waiting is the best thing to do.
Well, I am still waiting and honestly, I am beginning to find a richness in it. Through waiting, I’ve had some revelations that without waiting I would have never experienced. For instance, I’ve embrace inconvenience which has allowed me to see life differently gaining a greater sense of gratitude, expectation, and realization that inconvenience is often an avenue for new experiences that are often missed. I’ve gained yet again greater appreciation for community and their generosity. If you’re never in situations where you need great help you’ll probably never be the recipient of great help. This waiting season has called me to become more dependent. Dependency is not lack, it’s the willingness to receive because the need is so great.
Dad has been telling me to look at my identity and how I define myself. Asking me what defines me and where I want that identity to take me. Then asking me about my dreams and where I want to go. There’s been this sense of freedom to dream and ask for that dream, that Dad wants to come along on the journey and chase that dream together. It’s really been an exciting time.
In His instructions for this season, he’s been reminding me that I am a son and to live in that identity as I walk through life. Dad’s been basically taking me through the who, what, when, where, why lineup of questions. Starting with who, with the question of who do you want pouring into you? Do you want mediocracy or the best of the best? What do you want to accomplish? Great things or achievable sub-standard life goals? What type of lifestyle, health, financial freedom do you want to live in?
Those questions from the dream section have all been followed up with a second question – will you settle? That was a question that hit me deep back in September. As I considered the question for my future I had realized my past had been riddled with times where I had settled. Not in every area but in small areas where I had settled as to not inconvenience someone or myself. It was something that I was not proud of as I considered it and realized I needed to make some changes in my perspective in both how I valued myself in my identity and also how I valued others and what I was doing.
All in all, this season of waiting has been extended to some extent because I’ve been unwilling to settle. Dad has always used cars as a symbol to what is going on in my life or where it is going. The question He asked me was, “If I am going to give you a new car what do you want? Will you settle?” That’s been a wrestling within that I’ve had to embrace and honestly still getting down. No car yet so that means I am still in it and who knew that 4 months without a car could produce some much joy and gratefulness.
“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:6-7