There’s a saying that good things come to those who wait. That sounds good, except it involves waiting.
I don’t know of anyone who likes waiting, myself included, but I can honestly say that I’ve come to understand the merits of it. That doesn’t mean I like it any better. I just understand the benefits.
The enemy of waiting is rushing. People are forever rushing. I’ve been as guilty as the next person. But, while I have often regretted rushing, I have rarely regretted waiting.
I’ve experienced the regret of those things. Some to this very day. I’d rather have the pain of waiting than the pain of rushing.
A good example of how rushing can lead to regret is found in the Bible.
Esau and Jacob were brothers. As the eldest, Esau had the birthright which, in ancient times, included the inheritance rights of the firstborn. Basically, it was a big deal.
One day, Esau went home to find Jacob making some stew. He was hungry so he said, “Quick! Let me have some of that stew. I’m famished”.
Jacob’s response was, “First, sell me your birthright”. That sentence should have made Esau stop in his tracks. But, no, he kept going. “Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?”
Ok, really? He was about to die? From missing one meal? It’s a big leap from famished to death.
That was one of the first recorded exaggerations in the Bible. And it perfectly illustrates a fundamental truth that’s been around since the beginning of time.
We want what we want when we want it. And that can blind us to the consequences of acting in haste.
It blinded Esau.
Jacob gave him one more chance to reconsider. “Swear to me first”. (In those days, a verbal oath was all that was required to make the transaction legal and forever binding.)
But, Esau pressed on, swore to Jacob, and got his meal. He exchanged his birthright for a bowl of stew. It seems so ludicrous but most of us can probably remember a time where we made a similar trade-off.
And lived to regret it.
Just as Esau did. That bowl of stew changed his life forever and not for the better.
The moral of the story?
Not so fast…