I’m told it’s a virtue. Honestly, I wouldn’t know. I have none.
OK, that’s not true. I have plenty of patience for other people. But I have none for myself, as anyone who knows me can attest. And I have very little patience for things that are out of my control, especially when there’s an outcome I really care about.
For example, my wife and I are trying to sell our home. We’ve done lots of great work to the place — landscaping, siding, roofing, and a bunch of stuff to the inside to really make the house beautiful. It looks fabulous. Here’s a photo of our family room, which is a source of great satisfaction for me because I designed it myself. Pretty great, huh? I mean, this home is READY. Somebody’s going to get a great deal.
Here’s the problem … I’m an impatient ball of stress. I fret and stew and sweat and worry non-stop about whether anyone is going to come and see the place. Ever felt that way about something?
And I must ask my poor wife at least a thousand questions a day. What’s our strategy? Why do we have to wait to have an open house? Are we priced too high? Are we priced too low? How many days (weeks, please not months) will it take to sell? Did I vacuum today? Do I need to vacuum today if I vacuumed yesterday? Have you heard from the realtor? Did we wipe down all the sinks? God knows, we can’t have water spots! What about the kitchen? Can you eat off the floors? How about the lights? Did we turn all of them on? Should I mow today? Yes, I’m aware that I mowed day before yesterday … just answer the question!
And while I’ve never been a person who’s attached to his phone, I find myself checking it constantly for texts. Maybe there’s a showing. Maybe somebody’s made an offer. Maybe my agent wants to go over our marketing plan (again, for the 27th time).
More likely, my agent wants to have me committed. I send her so many texts … she probably thinks I’m that stalker she saw on the latest Lifetime Movie Network flick.
I wish … no, I pray … that God would help me overcome this worry. There are a ton of bible verses that show me His heart on the subject.
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
Oh sure. The farmer waits for his crop because he knows his crop is going to grow, and he knows it takes a certain amount of time. But yeah, OK. I get it.
And there’s this …
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Just to show how much of a hypocrite I am on the subject of worry, I once wrote a song based on this bible verse called New Day. It has this very wise bridge that goes something like this:
Yesterday is gone, it’s dead and in the past
I can’t worry ’bout tomorrow or the things that never last
So I fix my eyes on you
In the promise of this brand-new day
Funny how the Lord can use songwriting to minister to the songwriter. As I listen to New Day, I can’t help but wonder why I worry about things I can’t control. And I realize that I don’t really control anything … not my house, potential buyers, grandchild, or even whether I’ll wake up tomorrow morning. I control NOTHING. It’s all in God’s hands, not mine.
So pray for me, friends. Help me back away from the cliff. I’ll do the same for you.