Few Valuable Things Are Built Quickly

I’m rebuilding a fence at my house after 14 years of poison oak eradication in what I have affectionately called, “the back 40.”  It’s a multi-layered process and, despite how professional companies make it look easy, it’s not!  Planning, ordering, running string lines, digging, setting posts, placing brackets, and running stringers are each done one step at a time.  (And most of us who build our own fence are doing all that work so we have an excuse to use the nail gun to attach the pickets!)  These things take time, especially if I want it to last.

The fence has been a metaphor for me to ponder on all these late afternoons and vacation days on the project.  Integrity is built this way, one day, choice, and decision at a time.  So is marriage, career, reputation, friendship, and child-rearing.  The lengths to which we go, the time that we must invest, the trail of good decisions and mistakes, and the grace that we experience along the way are all part of the satisfaction we sense at the end of these journeys.  Few truly valuable things are built quickly.  If you are growing impatient with your progress, allow God to show you grace in that progress and endeavor to keep taking one step at a time.  You DO get to the last picket of the fence, you DO reach significant wedding anniversaries, you DO watch your kids drive away to their new lives, and you DO have those days when you look at friend and realize that your whole life has been shaped by their journey with you.

I’m sure that the Israelites felt impatient and eager.  The Messiah had been promised, described by prophets, and anticipated by the faithful for centuries.  In fact, Paul described it this way when he was writing to the Galatian believers:  “When the time had fully come, God sent His Son. . .”  Prophecy required distance and time to have value as a measure or miracle.  People had to be ready.  2,000 years ago, that time came.

Now it’s OUR time.  We choose how to respond to the Savior’s birth, life, and invitation to us.  Make this Christmas a season in which you take another big step to honor Him, savor Him, and trust Him.


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