We exist in a world where instant results drive most people. Older generations will recall a time, however, when people planned ahead and saved, building a future—patience being rewarded through a well-organised approach to fulfilling their dream.
That reward remains today if we will build the sort of future that God is steadily sowing into our hearts now.
Extending the Building Analogy
Construction is a metaphor well worthy of our plans for better things.
The need for the asset is, first, identified. This is equivalent to the pressure-for-change that compels us to build for a happier future, bright with hope, and fulfilling our purpose.
Design is the next phase. We develop the blueprint and think some more. We take the blueprint to people we trust and solicit their opinion. Back to the architect we go—who in this case is us—and we continue to refine the design.
When we are happy with these plans we take them to the local government authority for approval. Then we engage a builder who will bring these plans to reality.
The timeline is developed and contracts are signed. Then we wait and monitor progress, all the while anticipating how good it will be to enjoy this new building.
The whole developed world understands this principle of slow development.
It’s no different for us in our personal lives. The process of slow development, plans maturing over time, with plenty of scope for reflection and critique, helps us to achieve the best possible outcome. This method employs wisdom.
Building a Better Foundation
Jesus’ concluding point in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27) centred on the foundational strength of two buildings: one built on sand, the other on rock. Not only must our faith be built solidly, our plans are best blessed also when we patiently lay them, like bricks, one course at a time.
Change is a risky business. Perhaps we learn once in life—maybe once too many—that flippant change of directions can end disastrously. Wisdom suggests there is nothing wrong with change, just we need to understand what needs changing, how to do it, and what timeline is realistic.
Why do we forge ahead to bring about instant change when we miss out on the climaxing anticipation of a well-laid plan eventually coming to pass?
It’s because we are naturally impatient. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so we want what we can get today. It affects all of us unless we understand that good things can’t take place without much thought and planning.
The best future is planned, custom-designed to our unique needs. While we wait, there is peace in preparation and joy in anticipation. And patience is all we need. Better to build something that is needed, and wait for it, than to occupy a redundant dwelling early.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.