“In order for me to meet my goal, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol…and I’m hungry.” My first reaction to hearing these words from Beyonce, as she detailed her preparation for her headlining act at Coachella 2018, in her Netflix documentary, “Homecoming”, was: “So what was she eating?” My next reaction was: “I need to write about this.” I had it all planned out; I was going to write a piece about hard-work and sacrifice, to encourage you to always work extremely hard, especially as most of us prepare for exams and finals. Then I thought to myself, there’s someone that would read my piece, and think that the relationship between hard-work and success is overrated. Some of you know all too well about pulling multiple all-nighters, and still not getting your desired grade on an exam. Some of you understand what it’s like to go through the process of applying to universities, diligently working through check-lists of ways to get into your dream school, only to end up in your third choice. If you are in that stage of life where you are working hard, but not seeing results, then you may think that hard-work does not always guarantee success. It is fair for you to think that way since you consider your current life situation as a piece of corroborative evidence for that school of thought. What if I told you that you’re missing a link? There is a bridge between hard-work and success, and that bridge is called process. And do you know what you need to get through that process? patience.
Many of us indulge in calculating, and planning out our lives to a tee. We give ourselves timelines and deadlines, telling ourselves that we must achieve certain things by certain times and in certain ways. One thing I love about God and life, is that while the former works in mysterious ways, the latter works out in amusing ways. I love how God rewrites our plans, and I love how life shocks us when we think we have the perfect plan to get through it. You may have told yourself, that to get a particular job in the future, you need to get into a specific school. You apply, get rejected, and then you think it’s all over. What if failure is part of the ultimate plan? What if their rejection letter to you is God’s way of protecting you from something that was not for you? What if there is something better ahead? How would you know? You have to wait in order to find out. I once heard a saying that God promises you a package but does not tell you when it would be delivered. The beauty of this statement is that if God has promised you a package, that means your name is written on it. You just need to be patient in order to receive what is already yours.
An imperative aspect of waiting is how you wait. While you wait, fight. Don’t ever think that there is no point in working hard, because the day you think that, you stop fighting, and that’s the day you lose. If your hard work did not pay off yesterday, keep working hard, it will pay off one day. While you wait, trust. If you believe that all the effort that you’re putting in “won’t even pay off in the end,” then why bother? Believe that there’s a purpose for your struggle, and that even though the plot is not currently clear-cut, God is writing a great story that is your life. While you wait, enjoy. It is natural to worry about if and how things will work out; I do. Yet, I also know that I cannot influence the future by staying up all night thinking about it. Bask in the present, it is one of the most precious gifts God has given us. Don’t allow the uncertainties of the future to affect the joys of the present, because we’ll never have the present again. Everything good will come, we just need to wait. While you wait, keep fighting through, keep believing in, and keep enjoying, the process.
“Trust the process. Your time is coming. Just do the work and the results will handle themselves.”-Tony Gaskins
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while waiting”- Joyce Meyer
“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised”- Hebrews 6:12 (from the Bible)