One thing that I have always debated and struggled with in my life is the fine line between patience and inaction. My personality is action oriented so the challenge really comes in waiting when it is appropriate, and ensuring that I avoid unnecessary action. I believe that we all have our God given purpose in life but at the same time I don’t believe that we will all succeed in living our purpose. Some of us will fail to respond to the call and some of us will derail ourselves by trying too hard to have things our way. There are many great examples I can site of people who have lived their purpose, many of whom you would likely know but since this month we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I will focus on him. Few would disagree that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived his purpose. Frankly it is almost mind boggling to think about the impact he made in his short life. He was definitely a man of action but despite that at times he chose to wait and be patient. I have had the pleasure of seeing the movie Selma where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was brilliantly portrayed by David Oyelowo. There is a pivotal scene in the movie when Dr. King lead a second attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery. It appeared that the coast was clear since the troopers had turned away. However after praying Dr. King decided not to continue with the march that day but instead lead his protesters away. He was heavily criticized but stood his ground. Later that evening a white protester was beaten to death. Dr. King was ultimately successful with the march and as the saying goes the rest is history. What great history!!!
Dr. King despite being a man of action and a man of faith showed that at times we must act but at other times we must simply wait for clear direction on the next step to take.
Another more modern day example of timing is the collaboration of Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vansant. I first found out about Iyanla when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 90’s and I was a big fan. However her connection with Oprah seemed to have vanished and it wasn’t until more that ten years later during the final year of Oprah’s show that I learned the reason. Iyanla wanted her own TV show and Oprah wanted her to have that but their timing did not coincide. Iyanla got the opportunity to do her own show sponsored by a very prominent TV personality but she later revealed that the show was not true to who she was and it ultimately failed, lasting only one year. Her current show on OWN has continued since 2012. In this case Iyanla, clearly a woman of action, that has generally served her well, acted prematurely which perhaps caused an unnecessary set back in her life but fortunately she has lived to succeed. I must admit there is a bright side. During those years when her career was not as prominent as it is now, she visited Jamaica sponsored by the Nicholson Phillips Law firm and having been invited to a reception for her by the owners of the firm I both had the pleasure of meeting her in person and on that same visit, hear her speak. I again heard her speak in 2014 at the “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend”. I am still a fan.
So in relating it to our real lives, should we continue in that particular dating relationship hoping that it will lead to marriage or is it time to let go? Should we keep hoping that we will meet the right man or do we need to be proactive in trying to meet him? Should we stay in our current job or seek a new one? Should we continue with our current lifestyle habits, regarding exercise, eating, sleep and stress relief or should we make a change?
You see although based on our own biases we may answer questions in one way or the other, it just does not make it right. Because indeed, some or us should stay in our relationships because it will lead to marriage at the right time and for others staying is only wasting our time. Some of us will meet the right man by just living our life as we would but some of us may need to be proactive. For some of us now is the right time to make changes to our lifestyle or launch our business or change our job while for others we are just not ready, we need more preparation and any change or action would just set us back further than we were before.
So as we continue through this brand New Year, this wonderful new opportunity to renew ourselves, I encourage you to prayerfully discern for your own life situations which is true for you at the time “nothing before the time” or “the time is now.”
I hope you have a great 2018!!!