Things that Take Time

We talk a lot about time.  Mostly we comment on how we never have enough time, or we are not sure how to best fill our time.  Living in Central Asia has helped me think about time in a different way.  Things happen slower here, and I have come to enjoy this slower paced world.  I enjoy taking time to just be a bit more than I used to.  I don’t feel so rushed to finish things instead enjoying the process.  Yet there are times whether I am in my own culture or this one where I find myself wishing that things would speed up.  I want things to happen yesterday that will probably take years to come to fulfillment.  Truly though, most good things take time.  For example….

1. Good soups and sauces.  

We have an Italian friend who says it takes at least a day to make his favorite dishes.  Think about all the soups that taste better after they have simmered on the stove for hours.  Or how many dishes such as Nana’s chicken soup that taste better on the second day after all of the different flavors have had time to mingle.  Some spices need time to simmer and work their flavors into the rest of the dish.

I am learning to enjoy the process of cooking- the chopping, stirring and creating each meal.  These past few months, this is my hour to spend talking to my husband as I cook or even recruiting him to help with some chopping or stirring.  It takes time but time that I need to destress and just enjoy life.  Part of the fun is the process-the time.  Of course, the tasting part is fun too as we enjoy our creations.

2. True Friendship

You can’t rush a friendship.  There are exceptions.  Sometimes you instantly bond with another person, but mostly friendship takes time.  You need time where you sit around drinking tea or coffee together sharing about your joys and sorrows or time where you experience life together on a daily basis.  The great thing is that often these friendships will last a lifetime.  Think about college roommates or for us, someone we went through language school together with.

A few years ago we had the opportunity on home leave to spend the weekend with friends who had worked in Central Asia.  What a blessing to be able to pick up where we left off.   We are also blessed with friends who we did life with in Texas.  They are always willing to let us back in their lives when we are home on leave.  We step right in and join them where they are now.

Here in Central Asia, we were here two years before we felt like our local friends thought of us as friends and were comfortable coming to our house or us going to their house.   Will these foriegners just pack up and leave?  Can we trust them?  These relationships took time, but it was time well spent.  When an incident happens, I have many friends here who call to make sure I am okay.  I have had offers to come to stay at their house if I need to.  They have taught me many things about what true friendship is with their kindness and love towards to me.  But these things took time on both ends.  

3. Healing from Grief and Hurts

Grief is a process that takes time.  We need time to go through all the stages whether it is denial, anger, or deep sorrow.  It is process that can not be rushed and gets worse if ignored.   Even when we think all is well, we find tears forming when we hear a song or am reminded of a loved one or event.   Our grief and hurt is testament to the love that was shared.  
Maybe it isn’t grief but a deep hurt that is taking time to heal.  For the millionth time, you are taking this hurt to the father and asking to for forgiveness toward the person who hurt you.  It might feel like the pain will never go away.   Keep taking it to the Father.  It will get better in time.  

4. Spiritual Growth

We can read all the right books and do all the right things.  But God grows us in his time and his way.  I think we can help the process by being teachable and spending time at Jesus’ feet, but we can not rush growth.   Instead of focusing on growth,  we need to focus on the relationship.  We want results.  God wants us.
We can not rush a tree growing strong and tall.  All we can do is make sure it has water, sun, good soil, and nourishment.   The same goes with our spiritual life.  We need to make sure we are sitting each day at the Master’s table getting the nourishment we need.   

5.  Learning a New Skill

Coming out of college, I thought I was a good teacher.  Now I feel so sorry for those students.  It took time to develop and to fine tune my discipline and teaching methods.  Many years later,  I am still learning so much about being a better teacher.  Becoming a better teacher takes time and work.  
Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers talks about the 10,000 hour rule.   When we have practiced something for 10,000 then we will have mastered it or come close to mastering it.    Talent is key in many things but it is the 10,000 hours that takes that talent to the next level.  
Think about a skill you have that required time and effort, but now you can do without much effort.  I have some recipes that I have made so many times I can almost make them with my eyes closed.  Or when I go home to the states, I have no problem driving home from the airport even though I don’t drive here in Central Asia.  These skills took time but now they are part of who I am and what I can do.  

6. Flight Permissions

In many countries around the world, permissions take time whether it is for flights, visas, or work permits.  Things take more time period.  You have to keep knocking on doors until you get a clear yes or no. You need lots of patience.  You need endurance.   
Often the no’s or maybe’s don’t make sense to our western minds.  Why can’t they just say yes or tell me clearly why they won’t say yes?   Is it personal or is there something that we don’t understand?  Do we keep pushing or give up?  
We have been in this holding pattern for 9 months.  Thankfully, things are looking more positive, and our prayer is to have resolution soon.  Our country director had a meeting yesterday where an official is advocating for us with the key players.  Pray for continued grace with this official and others as we seek to get our flight permissions. 

Can you add anything to my list?  What have you found that takes time?