Some people are gifted at picking the right line to wait in. Call it favor, intuition or dumb luck, but some have a knack for identifying the line in which they should stand to get done faster. As for me, that skill set is not in my repertoire. Whether it is the line to get popcorn at the movie theatre or the line at Wal Mart (I know y’all are cool and go to Target, but as for me and my house…), I pick poorly. I even have this tendency to be in the wrong lane in a traffic jam. I am forever in the slowest moving line. Even worse, I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have changed lines and lanes only to watch as the line I just left breaks open and starts flowing like the mighty Mississippi River. I’m sure there is some deep psychological reasoning behind this that is traced back to a disturbance in my childhood.
Maybe you aren’t like me, but for most of us, there is an unrelenting urge to switch lanes when things get bogged down. When progress is not paced to our liking or when we find ourselves at a prolonged standstill, the assumption begins to formulate that possibly we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we are not careful, we will make the mistake of looking for an exit route at a time when we need to remain.
I think one of the biggest challenges in life is simply staying the course. We have heard sage quotes such as, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” For many, our default setting when things are not going as we planned is to look for something we can change…or altogether looking for something else different to do.
I want to submit to you an alternative…
Difficulty is not necessarily a sign you are on the wrong path. Slow progress doesn’t always indicate you need to make alterations. Often, it is not change that is needed, but grit and determination. Sometimes what is required is a recommitment to what you’ve been doing all along.
I am reminded of a couple of people in the Gospel of Luke who happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Simeon, eagerly awaiting the promise that he would not die until he saw the Messiah…
Anna, a long time widow and a very old prophet who never left the Temple…
On the day Mary and Joseph followed the custom and took Jesus to be dedicated to the Lord, Simeon and Anna happened to be present. Simeon held his promise and Anna beheld the Lamb of God. Why? Because they were diligent. They found Jesus in the same place they had frequented with regularity. They didn’t change course when things got monotonous or when their promise was delayed.
Friend, be encouraged…more times than not, Jesus, and his plans for you, are not over there somewhere…they are typically found right where you are.