Delayed Gratification

In the Bible Jacob worked 7 years to earn the hand of Rachel, and was tricked into accepting Leah; he then worked another seven years to earn the hand of Rachel as well (this isn’t a post about sexual morality).  Can we imagine anyone desiring something so much that they would work 7 years for it these days?  Actually, I can.  It takes around 7 years of training to become Vicar of a parish; some scientific discoveries take that kind of time; few managing directors work for fewer than seven years before achieving the top job.  However, in all of those cases there is the need to build up experience, and the time spent is part of the journey, rather than an “unnecessary” wait.

But perhaps waiting is necessary, for it is in waiting that we develop character.  Earlier generations saved for things they wanted; the current generation borrow.  During the time of saving there is time to understand how much we want that thing versus something else.

Jesus told of the Pearl of great value:

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

When we can acquire what we want when we want it will we ever have time to discern what is of “great value” to us, and work towards that?

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