Many of you know I bought a motorcycle earlier this spring. For the last few years I have been dreaming about buying my first Harley. In many ways, this was the fulfillment of about 10 years.
I love my bike. One of the best things about motorcycles is the ability to really customize them and tweak things to your liking. On my short list has been a new saddle seat, custom exhaust and a few other additions. After a few weeks of all the parts sitting in my garage I decided to get started. On Monday night I broke down and took off the old exhaust, air cleaner and a few other necessary things. I was set up to get the new stuff on.
The only problem was I didn't have all the right tools. I had planned on buying a few of them, but I couldn't find them in my price range anywhere around town. I was able to secure a few and last night decided to just go ahead and do it. One of the crucial pieces was a torque wrench and the necessary bits. I didn't have them. Some advice from a friend said I could probably get by without it. I decided to go in that direction. After I had a few bolts in, secure with lock-tite and brute force I was making great headway.
But I realized I wasn't being patient. Like so many other things in life I was rushing and making do. I was making semi-permanent decisions hastily (like how well a bolt will sit in a shaking motorcycle!!!) because I wanted a quick reward. Soon one of my favorite Guns N' Roses songs, Patience, was playing through my head. While I realize what Axl was thinking about wasn't the most holy moment, the realization I had sitting cross legged on my garage was!
When we value things, we do them right. A life lived quickly and without intention is a life barely lived. The ultimate vision for things that exists for a time in our head can only be actualized by taking the necessary time to do them the way they should. Our decision making process gives investment in how we are willing to sometimes be patient about process. If we want to the best results in anything we must be willing to take the best steps. Last night it meant putting things aside and waiting a few days.
As I started undoing bolts and re-stripping down the bike I thought about how many times spiritually we want tremendous things and don't see them. How can we try to power through what we believe are the proper steps and don't see results. In frustration we begin to think God doesn't want to be an actual presence in our life because our own impatience failed to provide the proper spiritual environment for what we wanted. Looking backward in those moments I can see how I failed to properly prepare myself to be with God, and not the other way around.
At the time it might feel trite, but Psalm 46:10 tells us to simply be still and willing to wait on God.
Eugene Peterson calls it a long obedience in the same direction.
Baby steps are at times the path to the Kingdom of God. We will have those moments of mighty transition when we feel catapulted forward. But in the long run, patience with the journey will be much more fruitful.
We need a little patience. Just some more patience.