After many years of “experience,” hundreds of sermons and a number of self-help books, I’ve discovered one thing about myself:  I want it, and I want it NOW. 

What is “it” you ask?  “It” is whatever my worldly side thinks “it” is at the time.  “It” may be the latest technology, “it” may be a relationship, “it” may be a new car or “it” may be something that someone else has.  Whatever “it” is, I want it and I don’t want to wait for it.  Does that seem a little extreme?  It may be, and I may be exaggerating a little, but I see people like this every day and everywhere, including one in the mirror once in awhile.

  • How often do you go out of the house not worrying about how you look, but take note of how everyone else looks?
  • When was the last time you ran out to buy something that was just released or was on sale?
  • Do you wait patiently in lines at stores or behind slow drivers?
  • When was the last time you didn’t think twice about using your credit card and how you were going to pay for it?
  • Have you ever gone out with someone you weren’t interested in, but just did it to “have” a date?

We have all been conditioned to want to be “it,” have “it,” and not wait for “it.”  We read magazines and watch TV shows to find out what the latest gadgets are, what the latest styles are, and what the “it” people are doing.  We want to be “it.”

We live in an “instant” society - instant information, instant food, and instant results.  We are taught that “time is money” and if we wait, we lose.

Isn’t it easy to fall into this mentality?  If we don’t have “it,” we think not having “it” is holding us back.  If we’re not wearing “it,” we think that we’re not attracting the right person or getting somewhere because of “it.”  If we’re not doing “it” or working toward “it,” we think that we never will.  If we’re not “it,” we blame it on the past or on somebody else.  We think that we can’t get on with our life without “it” or because of “it.” 

For some, the “it” that we’re in search of is even spiritually based.  Many times we’re in search of “peace,” “contentment,” “a ministry,” “faith” and “hope.”

When it comes to living the single life, today more than ever, I see the following verse quoted:

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” Proverbs 13:12, NLT

Hope is one of those “instant” things that we should be able to obtain and possess all of the time, but in reality, we all lose hope at some point.  Whenever we place our “hope” in those things of the earth (like people and things), rather than in eternity, we are often disappointed and they do not live up to what we had “hoped” for.  If our “hope” is in a spouse and we don’t have any immediate prospects, we will feel as if our hope is deferred and our heart is sick.

Dave Ramsey, noted financial planner and advisor, makes his career helping people to reprogram themselves to not purchase something until they can afford it and teaching ways to reduce debt by living within their means by following a budget.  

That’s no fun.  Who wants to do that?  We don’t want to put off anything in life that we think can bring us instant gratification.  We don’t want to “suffer” now even if we believe that we will receive it later.  But that’s what the Bible encourages us to do.