It’s going take some time – this time. No matter what I planned.
– written by Carol King and Toni Stern, recorded by Karen Carpenter
There is no such thing as an overnight sensation. In fact, this is such a true thing that I figured it must be a famous quote, but when I googled its origin, I found that people write about this every day from every angle: sports, self-help, recovery, you name it. So we are in good company, me and Karen Carpenter.
The reason that it’s well-worn territory is that every person has to learn this. In every life there are long hot seasons when TIME as a Trainer, shows up with a whistle. And like every coach you’ve ever hated/loved, Time gets your best curse words and your most heartfelt thank you notes. We all generally find, with clenched teeth and bruised egos, that there is no other way to the finish line but over the hurdles and through the obstacles. And if there IS another way, someone would have told you by now.
And on the way, it’s not pretty. But we just idolize the hard work when it’s over, don’t we? Sometimes I even idolize the hard work when it’s not even over yet, but I’m closing in on the goal. I hit play on the highlights reel, telling myself how great it all was, how proud I’m about to be of the win, how it’s all been worth it, because I need to let that story sit like a trophy out in front of me just to take one more step.
Today I made some yogurt, which is not a very hard thing to do – the 15th or so time – but the first few times, it was really frustrating. (If I have told you about yogurt before, just go with it because I’m on day 24 of a 31 day writing challenge and I’m seriously delirious). I didn’t have anyone explaining it to me and the recipe I started with assumed some culinary expertise on my part, clearly. 3 failures later…I figured out that the whole temperature thing is just a THING. Bring on the nice thermometer with the digital readout which is now one of my husband’s favorite kitchen tools.
Homemade yogurt is not a quick fix – but tomorrow morning I will have 7 perfect jars ready for breakfast all week. Not too sweet like the food store brands, and I know where almost every ingredient comes from. I don’t know the FARMER who milked the cow, but you get my drift.
Making yogurt reminds me that Time the Trainer just can’t be rushed and that there are things that I want faster than they will be delivered. Sometimes I want to be the exception to the rule.
But (la-la-la, fingers in ears) the best things in life are NOT free. The free stuff tricks us into thinking that there is a shortcut and once we are smart enough, thin enough, or rich enough, we will find the Golden Ticket as the crowd cheers. But, not so fast. I think that I waste a lot of time opening candy bars when what I need to do is sit my butt down and get after the work of becoming better and more honestly faithful on a daily basis. On the way to the sweet reward of finishing strong there is no substitute for doing hard things in the time they require. They produce the exact type of resilience in us that we’re gonna need for the next adventure.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (MSG) So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.