Tuesday March 1, 2011
Impatience is a characteristic that I have been plagued with at times during the course of my life. Oh, I know I can be patient and during the more recent times I have demonstrated more patience in my life, but I have worked at being more patient and it at times has not been easy. As I read I Samuel 13 this morning, I was reminded of this characteristic in the life of Saul and began to look at the the factors that cause us to become impatient. The story begins by Samuel asking Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice a lamb before the army goes out to battle. Samuel doesn’t come when Saul had expected so he took it upon himself to do the sacrificing. We pick up the story when Samuel asks Saul what he has done. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
If you circle the “I” statements of Saul, you begin to get a sense of what drives impatience. Impatience is driven by putting my needs and my goals and my aspirations above all the relationships in my life. The task becomes more important than the connection of the relationship. When I look at times that I have been impatient, every time I have focused on getting something done or getting to a place and that task or getting to someones house became more important than staying connected to the person I was with.
Unfortunately the consequence of impatience with others and with God is disconnection. For Saul the blessing of God and a long generational reign was cut off because of his impatience. My impatience impacts my connection with those I am impatient with and with God. Slowing down and not sweating the small stuff will cause us to truly smell the flowers and see clearly the next steps God has for us. Take time today to see the rocks and ants along the journey.