I've spent the last few weeks plodding along trying to get a number of things done. Getting hooked up to DSL, getting things in order to build a full-out website, housecleaning. But a surprising (to me, at least) number of glitches and hitches and stumbling blocks have come along, frustrating me. Much as I would like to jump to, say, Point G on my list of "Things to Do", it became apparent that I could not skip over Points B and D. And then I would find that I also needed to do Points E and F.
Underneath the frustration that the side-tracking was creating for me, was the echo of a scripture verse, about persistence. I really wanted to avoid dealing with the specifics of the verse. Because sometimes, I don't really want to be a "grown up" Christian, and would rather pout and whine.
But I gave in today.
From Romans 5: 3-5 (I'm using the New American Standard translation, because that's the one I have on my desk at home.
... we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Now, in this day and age of Instant Everything, we all are losing our patience at having to plod along toward our goals. It is a common disease to all of us. But beyond that, I confess that because a goodly number of things come to me moderately easily, I am not well trained in perseverance. There are some things I will stick to, no matter what, because I really want them. But there are many things, especially when they are intermediate steps to something else, where I get frustrated that they don't move more quickly. I want this indermediate thing to be done with quickly. I want it on a silver platter, so I can spend all my "Perseverance Energy" on getting done the thing that I'm really passionate about.
For instance -- I feel that I will have a number of cool things on my website, when I get it up. I'm really looking forward to that. I really want it to happen quickly. But to get there.... since I'm going to do my own webmastering, I have to learn how to build the webpage. And the manual for my program assumes a certain familiarity with the process that I, a novice at it, do not have. Plus the internal jargon the manual uses for things. I'm spending time - a lot of time - trying to figure out what the program makers call Item X, something I would call Item B.
So, as I plod along in my persistence toward my goal, I'm internally whining about all this delaying clutter that's frustrating me. "Why do I have to persevere in this?" I ask God. "Character building", He replies in scripture. "Thank you very much, but don't I already have enough character?" "It leads to hope, and hope does not disappoint," comes the answer. Sigh.
I can't help but feel that God is laughing at me. "Stick it out. You will get there." And, in truth, I know this to be true. Part of my whining attitude right now is that it has been quite a while since I've really had to apply myself to learn something completely new. It's not that I lack the skill to learn it. I don't. But a part of me feels that it is such a bother to have to spend this time on this intermediate step. "Wave a magic wand, and give me instant knowledge!" Not going to happen, of course.
So, I'm resigning myself to the reality that I won't be getting my website up as quickly as I'd like. Because it would be better to get it right the first time (or as close to "right" as is possible), instead of constantly having to change it under my visitors.
Perseverence leads to character which leads to hope.
And those are better than instant knowledge.
Of course, being still imperfect, I'll probably still whine about all the intermediate steps I have to take along the way.