We live in a culture of NOW. We have lost the art of delayed gratification and waiting for what we want. We forget that our grandparents worked for months or even years before they bought a car or a new "toy." We see some people enjoying life's pleasures and think that we need to participate in such things NOW.
I struggled with this mindset a LOT when I was a newlywed. Nope, it didn't matter that I'd just moved to Tennessee and had been married for only one year. I wanted a new couch. I wanted a new(er) car. I wanted to live in the best neighborhood. I didn't wait for those things, so I dug a hole of debt that took years to overcome.
More recently, I took inventory of my choices - how I was behaving around others. I realized that I wanted change in my life - be more gentle, more loving, more Christ-like. I think that praying one prayer will grant me instant change. uhh... that's not how life works!
Several years ago, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class changed my world. Not only did it give me perspective on finances and planning, but it reminded me of a key life lesson: "The Tortoise Beats The Hare"
Change takes time. Changing my financial path took time. It took us three years to pay off two cars and two student loans. It will still take more time to pay off my Master's Degree, but I'm still working towards my goal.
Changing my actions takes time. I've attended Celebrate Recovery for over two and a half years to work on my own hurts, habits, and hang-ups. I've been able to celebrate huge victories in working through two failed adoption attempts. I've been amazed by God's faithfulness in the adoption of my son! I've celebrated two and a half years of freedom from panic attacks. This did NOT happen overnight! This happened by living one day at a time. This happened by trusting Jesus to bring me through those tough moments.
The deepest desires of my heart will not happen tomorrow... or even the tomorrow after that... but they will happen on some tomorrow - whether that's months or years down the road. What I need to remember in THIS moment is that the Tortoise wins! He wins by walking one step at a time even when he was miles behind the Hare. The Tortoise wins by plugging along anyway.
So here I am, working towards my dreams... I'm working towards paying off my Master's degree. I'm working on trusting Jesus more every day. I'm working on the next adoption. I'm working on sharing my story here. I'm working on all of these things by taking one step ... then another ...
What's your dream? What does the tortoise mean to you?