He that can have Patience, can have what he will.
How do we pace and position ourselves to wait?
My time in the Army taught me a bit about this. Their infamous “hurry up and wait” mantra proved to be an enduring life lesson for me when I later became an entrepreneur and author. See the story below entitled, "Waiting Wall", excerpted from my book, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey, about one of those tough moments that required patience.
However long the night, the dawn will break. African proverb
|Getting pinned as a 2LT by my late mother and uncle in 1979 (2 people who also showed me what it meant to wait)
The nights were dark and cold— I longed to be in my bunk. But tonight I was on guard duty, another requirement in Army basic training. My route was synchronized: Walk the perimeter, stop at the barricades, turn and move in the other direction. Weapon on the ready—constantly carrying this M16 rifle made it feel even heavier, tiring me even more than the day’s busyness already had.
It didn’t matter, I had to go on to finish the shift— my general orders were clear:
“I will guard anything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.”
Other lines I had memorized to state if challenged: “Halt! Who goes there? Advance to be recognized.” I was to be firm and brave, alert for whatever came. Hmm, hmm. Once the approaching person was properly identified, they could pass on by. Then I’d keep walking— programmed for situational awareness.
My shift would be over at 7a.m. Once the sun arched over the horizon I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be released from this assignment.
I had to keep telling myself to stay on task—there was a reason for this too.
Waiting tests our patience, particularly when we’re just ready for situations to be over, or for news to come, or for something we want to come to fruition. I’d also learned a lot about waiting from my family from our pre civil rights era small town beginnings as we held out—for opportunity, laws to change, and a better day. Raised as a Baptist, they also taught me about the power of faith.
Maybe some life orders can help.
“You will have what you’re supposed to have when you’re supposed to have it.” These are words I would constantly say to my ‘ready to be grown’ nephew during his teen years.
He wanted to know when he could have my car or if he could be a part of my business— asking me all of this when he was 15. Even though now he is an adult, I will periodically utter that statement to him to emphasize the delayed gratification concept imbedded in the scriptures of our faith: “Wait for the appointed time.”
I make sure I say those same words to myself, particularly when I’m at a halt—an unwelcome slow period in business or my social life. Life challenges me then. Staying in motion while singing phrases from a few of my favorite gospel songs give me weapons of praise:
“Lord, help me to hold out until my change comes…”
“He’s an on time God…”
“Just wait on the Lord and be of good courage…”
It’s important for me to believe that a Master Order exists and new life construction is on the way. Encouraged, I know God is in charge—my heavy load-bearer.
So for all of us, the message is: Stay on guard, shout down that big wall and let it tumble away. Then we’re ready for a new assignment—a change at the right time.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a Butterfly.