We live in an impatient society. We want results, now! Goals should be achieved with the plan’s announcement. Obstacles should be eliminated once we have an idea, any will do, on how to solve the problem. Patience maybe practiced at an individual level, however as a community we want to be where we want to be. When it does not happen, fear, even panic, grows within.
Great ideas often take time. They require hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Each element demands our attention, often for longer period than we imagine at the beginning. When there is a crisis, my suggestion is that one doubles the time that one expects will be required. When the stakes are high, multiply the previous answer by three. If parts of the community have experienced large doses of pain, things will be even longer.
This is our world.
Yet, we do not need to wait until we have accomplished our goals to see progress. We can celebrate and embrace the small steps that take us closer to our goal. I look back and I can see how one community reacted to good news. Once the word began to spread, “when the next Sabbath came around, practically the whole city showed up to hear the Word of God.” (Acts 13.44) There was a conversation here, another there. Individuals reacted and embraced the possibility! Universal truth has a way of giving people energy, courage, and hope.
There are lessons that we can take with us as today begins. We can look for positive steps that we can embrace. Acts of kindness, models of compassion, and courage decisions of mercy can be recognized. In the moment at hand, we can do the right thing because it is right. When opportunities present themselves, we can do our part in making our communities a better place.
Our reactions to the challenges do not need to stop with movement. We can reflect on the conundrums of our time. We can lift each other up with hands of mercy. We can love fully, embracing accountability, sharing our loads.