Every so often as a kid, my Dad would wake up on a Saturday morning and declare it “Garage Day” or “Yard Day” or some sort of “Work Day.” It would usually begin around 7am, and if we weren’t awake yet, he would wake us up.
Working as a kid was really good for me and my two brothers. My Dad highly valued efficiency, and taught us the fastest, best way to accomplish something. If we dilly-dallied, he would encourage us to pick up the pace.
Even today, my brain is hard-wired to see the most efficient route to an end goal. I plan my errands to coincide to save time. I plot my grocery shopping in a big circle throughout the store so I don’t have to back track.
The faster I can accomplish something, the more awesome I am! Finished!
This is all well and good, except that in real life, finishing things isn’t always so simple.
Oftentimes, when we examine our current situation, there’s a gap between what is and what could be.
We can always improve on something. It’s incredibly rare that we feel “finished.”
Maybe you’re focusing on improving one of the following areas:
- Time Management
- Home Projects
Growth and goals are good - even Biblical. God calls us to mature over time. He doesn't let us stay where we are.
How and when we get to those goals, and how and when God gets us there, may be very different.
@@While I want to accomplish my goals faster, God may want to accomplish His goals deeper in my heart.@@
This is a beautiful place to be. Efficiency goes out the window when God shows up. He is on His own timeline and does all things well.
Think about it. Jesus was NEVER in a rush. He was never hustling to get somewhere. He was focused and consistent and knew His times and seasons. The fastest route wasn’t a priority to Him. Help me Lord!
2 Corinthians 12:9 helps to set my mind straight:
The following verse also comes to mind as I’ve been shifting my perspective.
Everything that grows has a season.
All lasting change happens over time.
We had an orange tree in our backyard growing up, and we waited in anticipation for those big orange globes to ripen every year. They were so sweet!
Growth doesn’t happen in an instant. It takes time.
In the spring, the tree gets pruned and draws nutrients from the soil - growing it’s root systems. It’s digging deep for the future fruit that is coming. It’s right on schedule. It’s not behind.
Over the summer, the orange blossoms bloom and fill the valley with an intoxicating smell for two weeks. It’s right on schedule. It’s not behind.
And the hard, green fruit is just where it’s supposed to be in the fall. It is growing and maturing in it’s time. It’s right on schedule. It’s not behind.
Finally, winter comes, and the orange reaches it’s peak ripeness. It is full and sweet and perfect. It’s right on schedule. It’s not behind.
The ripe fruit is just as perfect as the tiny orange blossom. Each season is necessary… and right… and good.
So often, we want instantly ripe fruit in our own hearts, but the Lord is walking us through a process that may look starkly different from the end goal.
Are you frustrated with your hard, green fruit? Are you enjoying your ripe, delicious harvest? Is there nothing to be seen but bare branches?
Let’s submit to this process and say yes to the wisdom of the Lord. Rest in the season you are in. Have grace with yourself. You’re right on schedule. You’re not behind.