Life is a funny thing. Anyone familiar with the concept of "time" knows that it is a fickle monster. Sometimes, it can seem to drag on mercilessly, testing your patience and resolve. Other times, it can seem to fly by in a blink, going from then to now like a flash of lightning, and turning now to then, just as quickly. As missionaries, we gain an intimate relationship with the quirks of time over the course of a short 18 to 24 months.
Life is like that too. As we reflect on memories past, often it is startling to realize how much time has truly passed since yesteryear! As we look with hopes and dreams to the future, it seems to always stay just out of reach, dangling in front of us, teasing us, like a carrot on a string. And, as always, between our memories of the past and our hopes of the future, lies the present.
The fact of the matter is, all we have is now. We must learn from experiences of time past, and press forward patiently towards our dreams of the future.
But (if you are like me,) waiting can be hard! President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave an awesome story on this subject.
Now, this is cute and awesome and everything, but it distressed me a little. We all have to ask ourselves: Which child was I? Honestly, I'm not sure if I would have refrained from eating the marshmallow. To quote one of my favorite songs, "the waiting is the hardest part."
But we all learn at an early age (from a very determined tortoise and a rather impatient hare) that steadily enduring day to day is key to having a happy life. Patience isn't only a virtue, it is requisite to reach the finish line, and win the prize of eternal life. Those who live "fast" lives may be shocked to find at the end, just like the hare, that they have still lost the race.
In the end, it is what we do that counts, not how fast we do it. Elder Quentin L. Cook quoted this poem on the subject:
O, one might reach heroic heights
By one strong burst of power.
He might endure the whitest lights
Of heaven for an hour;--
But harder is the daily drag,
To smile at trials which fret and fag,
And not to murmur--nor to lag.
The test of greatness is the way
One meets the eternal Everyday.
~Edmund Vance Cooke
So hang in there! It is by sticking to it in through those long, tough days that we prove ourselves worthy of the Kingdom. Greatness comes one day, one trial, one step at a time. Patience is hard. Patience is long. Patience is tough.
But Patience is Power.