We are still going through a worldwide pandemic, which resulted in locking down whole towns. Gradually, things have begun to open up, especially after the COVID-19 vaccine became widely available. However, those from big cities who had experienced mob violence on both coasts, as well as violence in large cities, began a modern gold rush to small towns and cities in the Rocky Mountains.
My hope today is to share some thoughts gained from 38 moves in the first 30 years of my marriage. Blooming where you’re planted is to accept the fact that you’re in this particular garden and might as well make the best of it. I learned that whining and complaining about the moves necessitated by Gary’s profession would not change how and where we lived—as if whining and complaining would make any difference. Actually, these things will make a difference in how you feel and whether or not you can deal with what’s going on! If you reinforce negative thoughts by expressing (and/or acting on) them, you will spiral downward into a place you can’t get out.
Once you decide you’re going to make the best of your situation, you have to figure out how to adapt. I’m here to tell you that you can improve how you feel, both physically and spiritually. You must pray to develop patience and persistence. Each of these depends on the other; they work together and overlap. Most of all, a sturdy plant requires reliance on God, the Supreme Gardener.
Those of you who read my column regularly know that I firmly believe God is in charge of this world and moral laws are not up for debate. Right and wrong exist. Everything we do must be in accordance with God’s laws. However, each of us has Free Agency, we can choose how we act. Since the Garden of Eden, men and women have been given choices between good and evil.
With those choices come consequences for whatever we choose. For example, you can choose to jump off the top of your house, but half way down you can’t decide you’d much rather not hit the ground. The law of gravity took over when you jumped.
Patience means that you can wait for gratification. You have the ability to forgo some pleasure/satisfaction now for a greater reward later on. Little kids have no patience—that’s why they have parents to guide them into becoming adults.
Some social scientists conducted an experiment to see how the ability to delay gratification in young children predicted success in adulthood. They put a dozen preschoolers into a room with a two-way mirror. Their teacher gave each of them a marshmallow and said they could eat it immediately or they could each have two more marshmallows if they waited until she returned.
The teacher and scientists watched three of the children eat theirs as soon as the teacher left. Two children waited about four minutes, then ate theirs. Three others followed a minute or two later. One boy licked his marshmallow but didn’t actually eat it. Three children managed to wait until the teacher returned.
The scientists followed the twelve for 20 years. Not surprising, the three who were able to wait were significantly more successful in school, and their parents reported fewer behavioral problems when they reached their teens.
What are some choices you have to make that require patience?
Adults, at least successful adults, have patience. Another aspect of patience is the ability to plan things out: to put first things first and budget your time.
Many people just plunge right in and hope they get things right. As you allow the Lord, the Great Gardener, to guide and direct your life, you will find joy and fulfillment.