The Long Run

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next…                                            Romans 5:3-4 (The Message)

I wrote in the blog yesterday about making small, deliberate, practical changes in order to gain more of a sense of peace and control in our life. Built up over time, such regular disciplines lead to enduring positive change. The key word here is “time”. We all want to feel better right away. We are the epitome of a culture of instant gratification, and we have an insatiable need for immediate results.  

That is why weight loss, for example, is advertised in extreme terms. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!” Fat sculpting surgery seems to be the remedy for removal of unwanted fat. On and on we see that immediate relief is wanted, indeed expected. I too have the same malady. When my computer, for example, does not instantly respond to my commands, I can become irritated.

I tell my clients that the drugs that are addictive are the ones that give immediate relief. Indeed, anything that gives immediate relief and pleasure becomes addictive. Food, sex, alcohol, pain killers, gambling, pornography, and other forms of immediate pleasure, all have an addictive potential.

The slow, steady approach to life changes is the only way that works in the long run. No, it is not easy, nor is it quick. However, that approach does work, and it has been thus ever since the world began. We just think that we have a better, quicker way to do things.

Innovation, inventions and other time and labor-saving devices are remarkable and they are a blessing. However, when it comes to human behavior and life changes, slow and steady always wins.

Prayer: Lord, help us to have the patience and discipline to make the lasting changes you would have for us, Amen.

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