If you have ever wanted something now, rather than later, you are not alone. Most of us have and honestly, I cannot name anyone who has not. Delaying gratification is hard, not fun, and frankly something we’d rather not do most of the time.
This conversation is more than an encouragement to not eat the extra piece of cake or read the last chapter first in a best-seller, which both could be seen as superficial. Rather this conversation is one we all wrestle with over the long-haul; weeks, months, or even years.
I have developed a practice of reading (rather listening) through the bible each year. I simply start at the introduction and finish in the maps. This morning, while still in the Old Testament, something struck me. It seems that each leader, Abraham & Moses for example, appointed successors long before their deaths. This practice was even seen with King David when he was anointed King long before (years and years before) he ever took the thrown.
This is what would happen, the priest would stand with the passing leader (or on behalf of God) in what seems like a semi-private affair, pray a blessing over the successor, offer sacrifice and…. that was it. No party, no celebration, nothing… except a long silent wait to ascend to position.
Joshua would not lead the Hebrews for months or even a year; King David was a boy when anointed and he, after his anointing, simply returned to the fields as a shepherd for the next near- decade.
Such is the story sometimes in our own lives; we have a dream or goal or passion and then we start down this road only to find it longer than we thought… and darker …and bleaker …and fearful.
Something of note that should brighten your path, and something that brightened mine was this: Moses was in preparation some 40 years before ever seeing the burning bush; Joshua was being prepared for his greatness by being the admin’ assistant to Moses for decades; and David was killing lions and bears long before his encounter with Goliath.
That silence you hear, that emptiness you feel, that is insurmountably huge, might be the preparation you need before you step into your own greatness…your calling. These just might be your prep-years. It was for Moses, for King David, and it definitely was for Abraham, who waited about 100 years for his prep-years to come to an end.
While I hope we don’t have to wait 100 years to step into our calling, waiting until the prep-years are over is critical to your success once those years are over. You would never skip out on practice in order that you might win a game, so don’t do that here. Do not harbor hatred or resentment in these years of preparation. Run the extra-mile, do the extra push-ups, read the additional book, take the other class, …say the additional prayer.
Be encouraged, even the calling on the life of Jesus as a man was only three years, but 30 of those, in human terms, were in preparation for an eternity. Those 30 years of prep-time changed the world. Why cannot this also be you?
Your calling might be huge and freakishly unorthodox, but if your fellow man or woman were at stake would you dare to try to accomplish it? If your family was at stake would you do it? If your why is bigger than your hurdles, then Yes, you would do this. But take heart and stand strong; enjoy and endure the prep-years, your calling coming, but it just might take some time.