Coming back from a period of extended leave, I have returned to quite a lot of good news on the Go and Grow project. Whilst challenges remain, in my absence positive progress has been made in most areas. Frustratingly, planning has been delayed for reasons beyond our control, but on the other hand most of the planning arguments have been won. In addition, the financial outlook has also shifted favourably, with a prospective property sale moving ahead and competitive tenders for the construction works looking promising. All this is encouraging. There are inevitably things that could have gone better, but overall I have been greeted on my return by significant progress.
Now more than ever we are in a time of waiting. Not much can be done until we finally get our planning consent, and that won’t happen until the end of January. We are told that delayed gratification is a sign of maturity. Few children are able to resist the impulse to eat the sweet placed in their hand, when asked to wait. But as we grow older we find that waiting heightens the joy of reward, and so we are prepared to wait. Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
However the Bible has a slightly different perspective on waiting. Waiting is not something to undergo in order to eventually get something good, waiting is a positive and active thing to do in itself. Psalm 27 says “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” The young king Saul was asked to wait for Samuel at Gilgal, but when he saw the Philistines pressing and his men scattering, he took matters into his own hands. Finally Samuel arrived and was furious with Saul and rebuked him harshly. Saul’s mistake was that he trusted himself more than he trusted either Samuel or God. His sin was a simple lack of faith, faith that could have been expressed through waiting.
Therefore we understand that waiting is not a bitter pill to be endured, but is an act of faith in itself. That’s why patience is a fruit of the spirit. Joyce Meyer said: “I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you're able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something... it's about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.”
So we joyfully wait for our planning permission on Solar House. Hmmm - I’ll have to think about that.