Balancing Patience with Action

In one of my morning rituals this week, I studied Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In that verse, Moses is speaking to the Israelites on the shore of the Red Sea as the Egyptian army is approaching them.

However, one verse later, Exodus 14:15 says, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Since reading that, I’ve been trying to reconcile being still with moving on. I know there is a time to be patient and a time to act. Wisdom is understanding the difference.

In these verses, are we seeing Moses’ lack of wisdom, which makes him very human? I notice many people confusing patience with doing nothing and thinking God will just do something for them.

I think God expects us to prayerfully know what to do and just do it. The only way to know what to do is to have a relationship with him, which involves making time for him and having a conversation with him. In the life of Jesus there was both prayer and action, and the balance between the two brought them into perfect harmony.

Applying this concept to our lives and work is a delicate balance. Like Moses, it’s easy for us to become like a “deer caught in the headlights”, patiently praying, but never taking action. The inverse is also just as easy to fall victim to. Modern society tempts us to get as much as we want as fast as we want, i.e. my kingdom come, my will be done. The only way to find perfect balance is by forming daily, weekly and annual habits that allow you seek it.

Divert your attention from the daily chaos by scheduling 5-15 minute “meetings” with God, as needed. Withdraw one day a week from the demands of others to clear your mind and recharge your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy. Abandon annually to a place where you can be “off the grid” to advance the strategic plan for your life’s work.

Forge these habits, and you’ll patiently weave a thread through every aspect of your life that enables you to do God’s work.

Published by Marc Casciani

Bridging brothers & sisters to what's important. Author of Craft Your Calling. Host of the Neighborly Love podcast.

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