Dear church,

Patience is not something our culture has in abundant supply. Mary and I went through a restaurant drive-through lane the other night and noticed how slow the line moved. Well, I noticed how slow the line moved.

It was somewhat frustrating. All told, we might have been there for 15 minutes.

Warren Buffett, the famous investor, is known for his business advice – like investing aggressively when everyone else is selling, and selling when everyone else is buying. I read an article the other day about one of his top pieces of advice.

It is this: Be patient. He said, “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

Sometimes, an entrepreneur simply needs to stay the course. The profits may not be there initially, and the temptation might be to drop out and chase some other dream. But the advice of this one billionaire investor is to stay put. Keep working hard and smart, and keep waiting.

But, again, we’re not a very patient society. Fifteen minutes in the drive-through lane can drive a person crazy.

And James wrote, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.”

James was pointing us toward the end – to live with the end in mind. I stayed in the drive-through lane because I knew the end. Entrepreneurs keep working and waiting because they know the pay off at the end.

Of course, a person could pull out of the drive-through lane. And a businessman could sell off his business prematurely. And it’s fair to question whether the end will come just the way we want it – that the food actually is worth the wait and that the profits will be just as we had hoped.

I suppose in all of this, faith is required.

“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

We live with the end in mind. We wait. We “establish” our hearts with the fullness of God’s Word and the working of the Holy Spirit. And we wait some more. We trust in the promise of Jesus that he is coming back as King.

I wonder whether the sins we commit and the moral failings we exhibit are a result of a lack of patience and living with the end in mind. It is possible to lose sight of the end, to forget the coming of the Jesus is “at hand.”

And if we forget, we easily could have our attention taken up by other pursuits. We can get frustrated with ourselves or other people or our circumstances, and we can act outside of our character as Christians. We are no longer living with patience.

Please think on these things today. In what ways are your thoughts and actions dictated by the promised return of Christ? In what ways have you gotten off track?

Chris

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