“Several years ago I had gone with my wife to Hawaii for a speaking engagement. Since we don’t get over to Hawaii very often, we decided to add on a few additional days for rest and relaxation. The plans had been made. The weather was perfect. I finished my speaking engagement and we were both ready to relax.
The first few days went by fine but then something happened that I will never forget. Before I could even know what hit me, I was suddenly ravaged by a pain level I had never felt before. Now, I’m a man, and if you know me at all, you know that I pride myself on being a “kingdom man.” However, in this moment in time, even a kingdom man had to yell out in agony. I suddenly had a lot of compassion for any woman who has ever given birth. The pain was so unbearable that I could barely speak and I felt like I was about to pass out.
Lois quickly arranged for transportation, and we headed to the nearest hospital. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for hospitals. I’m thankful for doctors. And I appreciate the fact that they have to gather all of the proper information before they can begin administering treatment. I don’t want them to make a mistake, so I understand that processes are important. However, when you are seized by unspeakable pain, filling out forms or waiting in a chair for them to call your name is the last thing you want to do. Minutes felt like a millennium. If you have ever been in an emergency room, then you know exactly what I mean.
Waiting is no fun when you are in pain. In fact, waiting is no fun anytime. Really. We get impatient in lines that are too long at the store. We sigh in traffic that impedes our forward progress at the speed we want to go. We want our food as soon as we place the order. Our nation is certainly the home of the free and the land of the brave, but it isn’t exactly a melting pot of patience.
But patience is a virtue we all need. So when God puts you or me on a detour that seems to be taking too long—and especially when the wait includes pain—patience, when practiced rightly, can quite possibly even speed up the path to your purpose.”