Our world is obsessed with instant gratification. We want to be satisfied NOW! We don’t want to wait for the Internet to load or our coffee to brew. If it can’t happen the instant we want it, we move along to something that promises to satisfy more quickly.
Studies have shown that the ability to pursue delayed gratification is a personality trait of the world’s most successful people. Why? Because perseverance is a key component to learning and success. We grow by reaping the benefits of struggle rather than by ignoring or avoiding it. Seeking something big, pursuing something greater than our limited scope, takes time and patience. It takes hope.
We ought to pay particular attention to the Bible’s story of Esau. Esau wanted to eat now, and worry about inheriting the mantle of leading the family later. He was impoverished as a result. The Bible calls Esau “profane.” He considered the opportunity God had given him as something of no value. Similarly, God grants us each day as an opportunity to plant the seeds of doing good, trusting Him to grow and cultivate the crop while we patiently await the blessing of harvest.
The deepest joys are those for which we patiently wait.
Faith in God’s promises is an exercise in delayed gratification that provides a wonderful opportunity. It gives us a truer perspective. It is a beautiful thing that distinguishes the Kingdom of God on this planet from the manifestation of eternity to come.