Patience is hard! Everywhere you look there seems to be demand for instant gratification. From binge watching the latest TV series on Netflix, to Amazon working on same day shipping with drones, it is becoming quite apparent that patience is rare if not dead these days.
When I talk to leaders about the 8 behaviors of love outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and their importance in developing relationships, they often indicate one of the toughest for them is patience. High performing leaders want results now! With a purpose and well-articulated vision, they expect results. That desire and drive for instant gratification often leads to a lack of patience resulting in the following:
- Poor treatment of others
- Lack of FAITH
The problem is none of these outcomes have a positive impact on the goal at hand. In fact, most derail progress.
I had the opportunity this week to catch up with my friend Todd Gongwer, author of the outstanding book “Lead for God’s Sake”. Todd’s journey in spreading servant leadership through his book has been an illustration of patience and how God’s timing is best.
If you are a sports fan, you have probably seen Todd’s book mentioned in the news in the last couple of weeks as Ohio State and Urban Meyer won the College Football National Championship.
In a number of national interviews, Coach Meyer mentioned the profound positive impact that Lead for God’s Sake had on his life. He gave Todd and the book credit for reframing his focus on life and for wanting to get back into coaching for the “right reasons”. You can read more about Coach Meyer’s story and how Lead for God’s Sake impacted him here: ESPN.Go.com.
As of this weekend, thanks to this exposure through Coach Meyer, Lead For God’s Sake is sold out of all bookstores nationwide with printers scrambling to get more copies printed. Todd is also getting an extensive amount of requests for speaking appearances.
This success didn’t happen instantly. Todd wrote the book 5 years ago. Since then he could have easily lost patience with the amount of traction it was getting in the marketplace. He fully knew the significant impact the book could have on people’s lives. Anyone who read the book, just wanted to share it with others, but it still wasn’t gaining the momentum Todd expected. He continued however, to have patience, and trust God’s timing for the message to get turbo-charged and his patience has clearly paid off in a big way.
Trusting in God’s timing, working on things that you have control over, and not sweating those things that you don’t, are the lesson in this story. If God is love, and love is patient, then God is patient. We know that is true. After all where would we be if God’s love had not been patiently working on us? And, where might I be in the future if God’s patient love continues to do its work in me? God models this for us, so like God, love the people around you patiently today, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…
This level of patience will pay off in enhanced and added relationships. The people within your sphere of influence will appreciate your focus in this area!
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8