Fence Building and Patience…

I saw something this weekend that made me think a lot about how I handle patience. For the past six months or so, a neighbor of mine has been buiding a wooden post and rail fence around part of his property. It’s been quite a bit of work for him. He started by first digging the post holes. Next came the setting the posts in the ground. Now he’s working on attaching the rails. This hasn’t been a simple job. It’s taken six months to get to this point because he’s building it by himself. Oh, and it’s about 1000 feet long…

This weekend, I saw he had finished a small section of the fence line. I gotta tell you, it looks great. I can now picture in my mind what the whole thing is going to look like when he’s done. It’s going to really serve to dress up his property. He’s done as good a job as any crew from a fencing company could have. He should be proud…

This gentleman has worked a little each week on this fence for the past six months or so. He’s getting closer and closer to finishing. When he’s done, probably in about another month, he will have a functional and attractive fence that he built with his own two hands. Also, I’m sure he saved quite a bit of money doing the job himself. This project has taken a lot of planning, work and patience to get it where it is today. He’s come a long way from digging that first post hole.

What could have messed this project up? Without the proper planning, he could have built a crooked, ugly fence. If he had skipped corners in the work, he might have a fence that wouldn’t stand up to the elements very long. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a lack of patience could have derailed (no pun intended) the whole project.

So many self-improvement projects require the same three elements to complete: planning, work and patience. Have you ever lost patience trying to lose weight and quit your program? Have you ever stopped exercising because it seemed like too much work? Have you ever come up short with money at the end of the month because of lack of planning in the budget? These situations are pretty common. But, if we work on these elements, like my neighbor has with his fence, each time we try something new to improve our lives, we drastically increase our odds of success.

Are there any projects you’re working on right now that could use a little more patience? Could you use a little more with your kids? What about your spouse? What about in your job or with that new exercise program? With more patience, there’s no telling what great things you can build in your own life!

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4 Responses

  1. Great metaphor, Charlie. Yes, more patience is something I pray for ALL the time. I want everything done YESTERDAY. Appreciate your words of wisdom, your illustrations and your patience!

  2. Charlie,
    Your deep thoughts amaze me!

    I find myself in a constant battle with weight loss. I guess the stress of my job doesn’t help, but I lack the patience to keep going. I pray for help everyday!

  3. i’m with Eve. i want everything done YESTERDAY as well. one thing i NEVER pray for is patience because i have always been afraid that God will then give me situations that require it!! Funny though, God knows our hearts. i am not fooling Him by NOT praying for them. this goes hand in hand with the whole noise topic at church for me. by wanting everything done now and not being patient, i create a rushed environment for me and my family. it is something i am really praying about.
    thanks for getting me thinking……. 🙂

  4. Needing more patience is nothing new for me. I’ve prayed about it and have practiced it OVER AND OVER. I’ve by no means mastered the art of patience but I will say that with prayer and age (wisdom), I am much more patient than I used to be. I still have a long way to go, too, so thanks for the encouragement!!

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