THE BENEFITS OF WAITING – AS LONG AS IT TAKES
By Robert D. Foster
Phillips Brooks, a former Boston pastor, when asked to give a reason for his obvious agitation, replied: “I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t.”
That comment reminded me of an article in the National Geographic magazine, March 1996, called “Emperor of the Ice.” The article made an incredible statement: “In the dead of the Antarctic winter, these regal birds nurture their young through relentless blizzards, oppressive darkness, and months of killing cold that drops as low as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit.” (Experts assure me that was very cold!)
The female penguin lays one egg right on top of the ice. She then immediately goes off to eat and visit her friends, but not before her mate, the Emperor, climbs atop the egg, and instantly assumes total responsibility for incubating the egg and its contents.
And sit he does. The Emperor squats on the egg for nine full weeks, enduring two months of the harshest conditions known anywhere on the face of the earth. This male penguin waits instinctively; not really knowing why, other than instinct tells him to do it. Up to 400,000 Emperor penguins do this every year – they sit, and sit, and sit on that softball-sized egg for 65 days. During that time, the article said, he is losing between one-third and fully half of his body weight.
The bird’s endurance pays off. Eventually, his beloved empress returns. “Under the gaze of the starved father, the mother feeds the chick all sorts of goodies but not giving dad a morsel. He must find his own fast-food outlet which can be from fifty to one hundred miles away across the ice fields. No good-bye hug or kiss for the Emperor.” His maximum “cruising” peed? Half a mile an hour！ Dinner won’t be coming for quite a while!
Perhaps we cannot relate to the severe conditions enduring by the Emperor penguin, but each of us knows what it means to sit on our own versions of ice and egg. They may be some very good ideas, plans or creative action that can only be hatched by spending the necessary time to squat on our “egg.”
There is a wonderful principle we can learn from this amazing birds that exert such perseverance because they don’t know any better. I find this principle expressed very well in this passage from the Bible: “We need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan, so we’ll be there for the promised completion. We’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way” (Hebrews 10:36-38).
We live in a society – and a world – that places high value on being able to keep busy. The more we keep moving around, the more projects we seem to be engaged in simultaneously, the more productive we are – the thinking goes – and therefore, the better business and professional people we must be. It sounds good and true. But if we take a lesson from the Emperor penguin, we know it is not necessarily true. Beware of the barrenness of busyness.
One time I saw a young man rushing around, his mind obviously occupied by a mass of projects and ideas. “Where are you going?” I asked him. “I don’t know,” he replied, “but I am getting there very quickly!” I heard someone else state it this way: “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Do not be seduced into that trap. Activity does not necessarily equal productivity, especially when it is frantic and on the verge of being out of control.
等待获益 －－ 祇因需要