This past Saturday some of the women from my church and I took a trip and climbed Crowders Mountain. This was my first time climbing any kind of mountain recreationally, so I was excited. Killer smoothie for breakfast, ice-cold water, camera slung, and chilled sliced plums awaiting my descent; I was ready.
I already knew I was going to blog about this, even had a name ready; “View from the Top”.
Well on the way up, we missed the turn for our intended route and ended up taking a much longer and harder route to the top of the mountain (a whole other life lesson here, but I shall not digress). It started out fine, but then there were hills after hills and no designated resting place. My breathing was labored and legs felt taxed. But ALL of that evaporated the instant I made it to the top and saw the view.
For some reason, of the whole trip, that instant feeling was heightened and highlighted. I was just amazed to myself that I couldn’t even drum up in my mind how tired my legs felt just moments earlier. I thought of that feeling the whole way down and on the ride home; just couldn’t shake it. The next morning, as I mulled it over, God said He didn’t want me to talk about the view from the top, but about Delayed Gratification. So here goes…
Delayed Gratification – the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward.
Delayed Gratification teaches us the art of waiting. We hardly wait for anything anymore. With ‘fast’ food, microwaveable everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner ‘to go’, waiting is a lost art. As a result we struggle with the ‘process’ of life; impatient with ourselves and others because we thought we’d be further along by now, past this hurt by now, delivered by now, kicked this habit by now, ditched this addiction by now, have this prayer answered by now.
May I even say that the level of delayed gratification/discipline that we show towards a goal directly correlates to how badly we want to achieve that goal? We will do everything it takes to get what we really want. The lack of doing suggests how badly we want it as well; not badly enough. We can say it, but actions always speak louder than words.
We can say we want to know God more, but we don’t make time for Him, instead choosing to watch the game, hang out, watch shows, movies, sleep; other things that ‘feel’ more pleasurable.
We can say we want to better our health, but we don’t put in the hard work of exercising and eating clean, instead choosing every excess food offers and then a quick weight loss method.
We can say we want a bigger savings account and financial stability, but we have no plan, don’t stick to the budget and spend recklessly.
The short-term things we choose to do make us feel better instantly, but they delay and sometimes rob us of that ultimate euphoria of succeeding, making it to the top, and seeing the view. The joys of sharing the hugs of grand babies in your winter years. The joy of successful business ownership and careers after much toil. The joys of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, the joys of a growing ministry after much study, service and investment…and I can go on. But I pray you got the point……wait on it.
Sometimes we think ‘delayed’ gratification means ‘no’ gratification, but wait on it. The ultimate gratification is coming, it’s just delayed.
May my words encourage your day. Don’t quit and go back down, turn around and give up. Like the euphoria of a mother holding her newborn baby in her arms, labor pains forgotten, stay persistent towards your goals; once achieved, it will be worth the delay 🙂