Too Busy to ‘Wait’? [v100]

JUNE 2007

TO BUSY TO ‘WAIT’?: Time is very ‘valuable’—something that can’t be ‘replaced’. So, does that mean we should ‘pack’ as much as we can into every second?

Today, we live in a culture that is focused on the instantaneous—the here and now—and particularly this very moment. A lot of this has to do with technology, of course. The popularity of new communication technologies in recent years has really had a huge influence on us. The methods of communication that were once a regular part of life—like ‘letter’ writing (or even ‘e-letters’)—are close to passing off the scene altogether. (YouTube is ‘replacing’ it).

We tend to get a little ‘antsy’ when we are waiting for a couple dozen pictures, we just took minutes ago at some ‘event’, to be sent to our friends via e-mail (and we could even do this a few dozen years ago!). Then, if the sending slows a bit because of Internet ‘traffic’, we are looking to do something else until it finishes! (Efficient?…yes; Wise?…well, maybe not for the long-term).

I recently saw a television commercial that portrayed this ‘attitude’ well. A man in a restroom was conducting an important business meeting on his cell phone. Cradling the phone between his head and his shoulder, the man reaches for the faucet, only to find his balancing skills failing, and his cell phone falls into the water. Presenting the problem—too much to do and not enough hands to do it—the solution, then, (and the reason for the commercial) is the certain convenience of hands-free accessories for your phone! But I wondered how many other viewers paused to think, “No, the SOLUTION is TO WAIT, and not conduct a business meeting in the restroom!”

A similar commercial on the radio presents a list of reasons for choosing a particular company over the many others like it. The ad concludes with the comment, “Because we, at such and such, know that nothing in life can ever be too quick or too convenient.”

It would appear by the countless 30-second ‘philosophies’ continually flashing before us on the TV that life is much ado about speed and convenience. We hear repeatedly that nothing in life can be too fast or too ‘favorable’ to one’s comfort. It sounds good—especially when choosing a bank or a dry-cleaners—but even me, “Mr. Computer,” am not so sure I really believe it’s best all the time.

Though sales people would like us not to think it, most of us could probably admit there is indeed such a thing as “too quick” or “too convenient.” We know there are times in life when moving away from a sense of ‘painless ease’ is not only rewarding, but necessary. What art is admired lest the artist spend many hours ‘refining’ the details? What great love exists without a lot of time? On some real level, I think we seem to know that living is intrinsically more than being instantaneously contented.

Still, the daily allure of comfortable living is that ‘mirage’ that promises to deliver. It is all too easy to see what the ‘vision-casters’ want us to see—even when the cell phone “solution” conveniently overlooks the absurdity of a life that demands multi-tasking at every turn. The ‘poisonous’ effect of comfort is not the comfort itself, but the MINDSET that believes the mirage.

It’s my belief that major downside to our current society is that it gives the ‘illusion’ that anything and everything should be ours instantly. Our sense of timing has become skewed in this generation. We expect quick resolution to problems that have developed over a lot of time, and become depressed when things aren’t better in the morning! We simply cannot maintain balanced lives if we expect everything instantly!

Then again, sometimes we can have something now that others strive incessantly for (for many years)—it just depends to what EXTENT you are ‘satisfied’ with!

This reminds me of a story told by Jim Liebelt titled, “What Are You Chasing After?” It might be a reminder to all of us on how to keep a BALANCED perspective on our ‘pursuits’ in life…

An American investment banker was vacationing in a small Mexican coastal village. While walking near a pier he observed a small boat with just one fisherman. Inside the boat with the Mexican fisherman were several yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. “Only a little while,” replied the fisherman.

The American then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” The fisherman responded, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I relax and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat and with the proceeds generated from the bigger boat buy a fleet of boats. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could sell directly to a processor. You could eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small village and move to a big city where you could run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But how long will this take?” The American replied, “15 to 20 years!” “But then what?” asked the fisherman. The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part! You can sell your business and retire and move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could relax and play guitar with your amigos. You would have a full and busy life.”

The Mexican fisherman smiled at the American, quietly gathered his catch and walked home.

The thing is, often our impatience over timing ‘spills over’ into our spirituality. When problems aren’t quickly resolved we get ‘angry’ at God. When we don’t see growth in our lives as quickly as we desire—we become ‘depressed’. We hear about (and some have experienced) God’s ability to change lives and fix problems instantly, but when we don’t see these miracles happening in our lives, we wonder why God doesn’t act on our behalf!

But, the simple truth is: Growing in maturity takes time. 
Character building takes time. 
Resolving most problems takes time. 
Building strong families and relationships takes time. And following Jesus takes time.

I encourage you to take the longer ‘view’ of the time ‘given’ you. I assure you that God is still ‘at work’ in your life! Understand that God has His own timing (and ours is often very different!). Trust that His timing is perfect when it comes to your life!

What are you chasing after in life? How (and with whom) you spend the bulk of your time may reveal much about your priorities. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21].

What kind of ‘treasures’ are you striving? Are they temporary or will they last forever? Are you PATIENT enough to WAIT for them?

[Excerpts from: Jill Carattini; Jim Liebelt ]


[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further how to get the best life has to ‘give’, visit the following link: ].


If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at:

Thanks to:
Richard Bachmann
Gene Besh
Joel Bussell

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.

The music won’t last.
Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.

The music won’t last.
Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say,”Hi”
You’d better slow down.
Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short.

The music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.
[David L. Weatherford-Received from Richard Bachmann]

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” she heard whispered. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much.” were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. She nodded: “yes.” Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.”

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

“We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”

Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”

“I have mine too,” Marilyn said, “It’s in my diary.”

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said, and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.”

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

If you’re “too busy” to take those few minutes right now to forward this message on, would this be the very first time you didn’t do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?

The more people that you send this to, the better you’ll be at reaching out to those you care about.

Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.

May Your Day Be Blessed! You Are Special!
[Received from Joel Bussell]

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in “Mom, let’s run through the rain,” she said.

“What?” Mom asked.

“Let ‘s run through the rain!” She repeated.

“No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,” Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: “Mom, let’s run through the rain,”

“We’ll get soaked if we do,” Mom said.

“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,” the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!”

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.

Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

“Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If God let’s us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,” Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories! So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.

I hope you still TAKE THE TIME to ‘run through the rain’!
[Received from Joel Bussell]

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone (which you didn’t even have the first 20, 30, or 60 years of your life), is now a cause for panic, and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.  :-)
12. You’re reading this nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this to (because they ‘need’ to read this).
14. You are TOO BUSY to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there really wasn’t # 9 on this list. (skeptical, eh?)
[Received from Gene Besh]
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
[Dr. Martin Luther Ling, Jr.]

Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”  [Acts 1:4].


Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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