“Give it time…the fire feels divine; the sweetest things, they burn before they shine.” (Incubus)

If there were a competition for the most impulsive & impatient man on earth, I would enter it.

Not only would I enter it, I would win it with my many stories of impulsive buying and decisions made out of impatience. While my wife is a very methodical and meticulous woman who likes to assess every decision from every possible angle before coming to a conclusion, I, on the other hand, utilize what most men like to call their “gut instinct.” It served me well in my single days but as a married man, I’m starting to see that my “gut instinct” isn’t as potent in effectiveness as it used to be.

About 2 ½ years ago, I was rear ended at a red light. The driver disregarded the light and ran into my car full speed, totaling it. That was the first time since I was able to legally drive that I was left to figure out how to come up with another functioning vehicle to get to work and back.

As I look back now, the wise thing to do would’ve been to hitch rides for a season, while saving up to get a car that I could rely on for years to come. However, as you may have guessed by the opening account above, the wise decision wasn’t the first decision to cross my mind, not at all. I saw early on that being carless was going to be an extremely challenging endeavor while attempting to work full time so I reached into the depths of my gut instinct for a solution. That solution consisted of obtaining the first functional, used car I could find on craigslist for as close to $1,000 as I could get. Not knowing much about cars at the time, my gut instinct didn’t observe the dated year or high mileage, but rather that the car turned on at the turn of a key. I was on cloud nine…that was, until my first necessary repair.

It seemed as though from the time of my first repair on that vehicle, it needed something done to it monthly.

On top of routine maintenance, this car always needed some sort of repair. Just in the last few months that I owned it, I replaced the power steering pump, rack and pinion, harmonic balancer, power steering pulley, timing belt, and the list goes on. One day I was driving the car in this brutal San Antonio summer heat and my air conditioner randomly shut off and never came back on. That was the day I instantly divorced from any emotional bond to that car and I knew that would be the repair that broke the camel’s back.

Thankfully, I was able to purchase a quality car shortly after, but as I look back at the progression of that decision, I can’t help but shake my head about how much the circumstance would’ve been different if I had just taken some time, thought it through, and let things fall into place instead of acting on the first opportunity that presented itself.

I’ve only been married for 6 months now and I’ve already begun to spot my first option tendencies.

In my marriage, I want my wife and I to have transparent communication, full of respect and love for one another. I want to know each other so intimately that there are no hidden places in our minds or hearts towards one another. I want to be so drenched in adoration for each other that simple physical affection is not enough. In our family, I want to conquer the leaps and bounds of the step family dynamic. I want to have such a trusting and bonded relationship with my stepdaughter that she feels like my own. I want her to respect me, obey me, and heed to my authority knowing that it’s exercised in love. I want to be so in sync with my wife in co-parenting that we literally parent as one. These are all my desires and relational aspirations.

While they might seem admirable, they can be very toxic if rushed.

I’m brought back to the revelation I learned when in need of a vehicle, you can be patient for that which is worth the wait or you can try to take the short cut, which always comes with natural consequences.

I’m not perfect and I’m definitely far from where I want to be in my marriage and family life, but I can recognize at this point of my life that the most rewarding things cannot be rushed. We cannot force trust, love, good communication, balance, discipline, and honesty. Rather, we keep putting in our coins, one at a time, till the day that we begin see the result of our faithful diligence.

Don’t rush your process, enjoy the journey.