In my last blog entry, I shared with you how fasting exposed my attitude toward sacrifice (I don’t like it very much). I was fearful about what life would be like without food and anxious about being weak for three whole days. Eating no food and only drinking water will do that to you. Those three days seemed like an eternity. The clock moved slow. The nights dragged into forever. That’s when I realized that fasting was also revealing my lack of patience in the process. I do not like to wait an extended period of time before I see my desired results.
After being exposed, I had to choose my path moving forward. I decided that instead of focusing on the later on, I would do my best to be in the moment and eagerly seek the blessings (and lessons) of the now. Jesus echoes this sentiment in Matthew 6:25-34 when he says, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Essentially, Jesus is saying, “Don’t bring tomorrow’s troubles into today. You got enough to focus on right now.”
Fasting brought to light my desire for things to happen now. My philosophy on timing is “the sooner the better.” Some would call this IMPATIENCE. And they would be right. Patience, on the other hand, is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Ouch!
So I’m learning that in order to be patient in the process, I have to start by choosing peace in the process. In that same passage Jesus rebukes his disciples for having little faith…calling out their lack of trust that he can and will provide all that we need each day. When we don’t trust that someone greater than us is concerned about meeting all of our needs, we grow worried and anxious…and start to take matters into our own hands. In other words, we start acting like god-less pagans.
“For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:32-33
Patience leads to peace and peace allows us to pursue God and our God-given purpose. We can either run after all of the things we think we need for comfort, pleasure, fulfillment, and security…or we can seek God, his kingdom, and his righteousness. When we choose the latter, we choose to trust that He will provide all of my daily needs. That’s the kind of faith that pleases God and will help us be patient in the process…learning our lessons and experiencing the blessings of…today.