I got impatient. With a number of outdoor tasks begging for my attention, I had grandiose ideas of tackling all of them by dinner time. First things first, I needed to wash my car. As I got started, I realized it might take a little longer than I had originally expected.
A quick lunch was followed by a trip to the garage in search of clippers for my next project. Some shrubs and jasmine were long overdue for a trim - in fact, they had begun taking over a portion of the driveway and yard. Tentative at first, I began trimming in earnest as I figured out how to thin and shape each plant.
Midway into the task, I glanced up in alarm as my husband, Steve, came around the corner of the house. He had been weed-whacking, and something had gotten into his eye. Unsure whether he had been bitten by a bug, or was dealing with a piece of debris, I followed him into the house to help him flush out his eye.
We were unable to determine what was causing the irritation. With nothing more I could do for him, I headed back outside to finish my project - although I could feel my motivation slipping away. The sun was dipping below the treetops when I was finally finished with the trimming.
Although I had made progress, I looked around the yard at all the work that remained. The impatience I had experienced earlier in the day was replaced by discouragement. With both Steve and I working on the yard, it would still take a number of weeks before it would be finished.
I encountered a lightbulb moment: rather than concentrating solely on completing the entire project, I could focus on enjoying each step of the process. The choice was mine. Our yard served as a simple example of many other areas of my life. How often had I given in to impatience, only satisfied when I was done with something. By choosing to embrace each step of the way, I could experience joy along the journey.
The Lord likens life to a race, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1; KJV). How do I avoid becoming impatient and discouraged? By focusing on the Savior, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:2).
Does a project have to be completed in order for you to experience joy? Will you choose to relish each of life's moments today, so you can find joy along the journey?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that I can run the race You've given me with patience. Help me choose to look to You each step of the way so I can experience joy on my journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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