Have you ever tried to learn something new and just not had the patience to perfect it? Or maybe started a project, and got tired/distracted and never finished it? In the world we live in it is an immediate satisfaction and very little patience type of society. But to build something sustainable, it takes time and patience. Think about a house…they don’t just appear, it takes time an patience to build something that wont fall down in the first storm.
I look at college sports (specifically basketball and football), and the coaching jobs. If these coaches don’t come in and immediately win, then in a few years they are fired and a new coach comes in. You have to win NOW. If you make a mistake or have a bad year or two, your opportunity is over, there is very little grace or “mulligans” to use a golf term in that world.
I am glad that our relationship with Jesus Christ isn’t that way. Can you imagine, if God treated us like that? If we made a mistake or had a bad season, then he would just kick us off His team. No, it doesn’t work that way at all, our God is full of grace and patience and wants to build something in us much more long-lasting. It helps that He is GOD and doesn’t require immediate success, He is focused on the process and and looks for progress along the way.
The University of Tennessee football coach, Butch Jones, is in a rebuilding process for the team. They have had a few bad seasons and in order to re-build it takes time, recruiting, changing of the culture, etc. He wants to win as much as anyone else, but he is able to see the progress within the team outside of just the wins and losses. He said something after a loss the other day that stuck out to me and I think fits very well with many situations.
“Progress is not always measures by victories.” – Butch Jones
In other words, you can grow and get better without winning immediately. Winning will come as a result of progress, but they are not immediately linked together. The catch is, to get to the victories, you have to be patient and stick with the process. If you “jump ship” you will never be around to experience the victories that are in store! Here are some biblical examples…
- Noah…made progress on the Ark for years without every having proof or rain
- Moses…made progress on getting God’s people to the Promised Land for 40 years before they actually got there
- Jesus…made progress on saving us all from our sins, even though Him dying on the cross didn’t look like a “victory”
Again, God is not focused on the here and now. While every second, is important to Him, He is focused on the bigger picture. Be thankful today that our God is full of grace and patience, to allow us to grow into the individuals He has called us to be. Stay with God’s process in your life, trust His plan, and victories will come…
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9