Putting First Things First: A Test of Trust and Faith

Patience has never been my forte.


Although I’ve gotten better over the past two years, I still struggle greatly with patience. Life is just so short, and there are so many things that I want to accomplish that I’m always eager to get to the next step… or the next three steps… as quickly as possible.

And it applies to everything… quite literally.

At work, my day is usually very structured; multiple experiments are scheduled while on break from earlier experiments, and most days I don’t get a break to just sit and breathe. Most days, I’m so busy and so ready to finish for the day that taking a lunch break seems more like a chore than a time to relax. Knowing that certain things are going to take a certain allotment of time–and can’t be rushed–has definitely helped me with some of my patience issues, but not much. Old habits are hard to break!

There have been multiple times where something has popped into my mind, as an afterthought… I haven’t heard from what’s-his-face yet about such-and-so… and the very next day I get my answer. I try to keep in mind that if I had just been patient, I wouldn’t have had to have wondered about it (or better yet, shouldn‘t have worried about it!). For instance, before my senior year at college, on a trip home from Indianapolis, I thought to myself, I never heard back about the Pacers Foundation Scholarship. Guess I didn’t get it. When I went to the mailbox that very day once I arrived home, guess what was waiting for me. A congratulatory letter from the Pacers Foundation, I actually wound up with the scholarship that year.

During my junior year of high school, my cousin brought me a copy of her school’s bulletin, and from that bulletin I had my entire four years of college mapped out so I could not only finish on time, but take extra classes that interested me while still graduating “on time”. From scoping out what was to come beforehand, I also knew to go ahead and put together a portfolio of my written work to submit so I could test out of the basic English class everyone was required to take, saving myself (a published poet) valuable time (and of course, when it comes to college, money!).

I am constantly getting ahead of myself. Planning things so far in advance has the unfortunate side effect of taking precedence over things I need to be focusing on now. I know this, and yet I can’t seem to stop. Once again, old habits die hard. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be corrected; I just need more active, focused work on it. It’s proving to be very tough for me.

I know without a doubt that God knows what He’s doing in my life, and I have full confidence that He plans to use me in amazing ways. But I can’t help the human characteristic of wishing I knew what the Master Plan was, ahead of time… I am fully aware that everything in my life is a test of trust and faith. I know that this is all a test. There are things in my life right now that I am neglecting because I am too focused on wondering what is to come. Realizing this fact has got to be the first step in correcting my focus and to put first things first. Some things that I emphasize are less important than I make them out to be–I’m fully aware of it, but it’s more like an impulse to go ahead and push for what’s next instead of enjoying where I’m at now, in this moment.

What the real issue is, I think, is that I get too bogged down in the day-to-day minutia and lose focus on the Big Picture. That’s where David comes into play. Every time I get into a funk, he’s able to pull be back. I’d be lost without him grounding me; he does this far more often than either of us would like (I’m sure), but he never complains or gives me hell for my impatience. Thank you, God, for providing a loving and patient man to be my counterpart!

Today though, I have failed. Miserably.

Today has been a trying day. It’s been more of a struggle than a challenge, and I have not fared well. Not seeing the Big Picture really overwhelmed me, to the unfortunate effect of being angry and even a bit jealous (an emotion that is new to me, and neither of which that I like). Longing for something I can’t have right now is not a good use of my time. I know this. But I still can’t help myself, even though I know this is what is bugging me today and making me moody. And I know, for a fact, that it is all utterly my fault for feeling the way I do today.

There are some things that I can only do my share of; I just expect the other person to do his or her share too, and in a timely manner. If we talk and you say you’ll call me back that day with the final answer, please don’t make me wait another two weeks when this whole process has already stretched out nearly six months! *end rant* Maybe I should just throw in the towel already with that one.

It’s time I put first things first… which may be a difficult for me, to put aside my impatience and get down to business. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long, long way to go.

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry Psalm 40: 1


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