Patience has its reward
Be honest. Do you have a problem at times with patience?
I’m not talking about those little bouts of impatience that flare up now and then when something doesn’t happen as quickly as you would like or when your spouse takes more than the 30 seconds or one minute you allotted for his/her response. I’m not talking about the test of patience that comes when you tell your kid to have his room cleaned in five minutes and it drags out to 15 or 20 minutes.
I’m talking about having patience, as in dealing with something that may last an hour, two hours, a few days, maybe even a month or year. Hey, what about having the patience to wait and work for 13 years at something you hope to achieve?
That’s patience—the kind Guilder Rodriguez exercised.
Who is Guilder Rodriguez and what did he patiently work to achieve? He’s a baseball player from Venezuela who played diligently in the minor leagues for 13 years before being called up to the Texas Rangers earlier this month at age 31. But he wanted more than just getting to the Major Leagues. He wanted a hit, his first major league hit.
More patience was needed. He went 0 for 6 in his first six opportunities at bat with the Rangers. Then, Monday night he got his first big-league hit, a single to left field in the third inning. And there was more to come. In the seventh inning he drove in the game-winning run with another single to left field.
But, as they say in some commercials, there’s more. His dream performance was made even better because his father, Guillermo, had flown in from Venezuela and was in the stands watching his son play for the first time in 10 years.
Yes, patience can have its reward.
“This is one of the best moments in my life,” Rodriguez said. “This is the second-best moment, next to my two daughters being born.”
Not only is he a man of patience and determination, he apparently is also a man with his priorities in the right order. At least, that’s what ranking the birth of his daughters ahead of achieving a life-long dream says to me.
Life in the minor leagues can be tough and discouraging. Long bus rides. Constant uncertainty. Watching others advance while you plug away. Maybe having to move often. For Rodriguez, it meant playing 1,095 games in the minor leagues over 13 years and playing at all levels—Dominican League, rookie league, Low A, High A, Double A and Triple A—before finally getting his first call up to the Big Leagues.
Despite all this, he stayed with it, and now he has a dream night to cherish for the rest of his life, whether or not he remains in the Big Leagues.
His story made me think. Next time (probably sooner than I would desire) I have a flare-up of impatience, I need to think of Guilder Rodriguez. If he had allowed himself to fall victim to impatience, he likely would not have achieved his dream. Chances are basically 100 percent that impatience on my part will mean loss of something far less important than achieving a life-long dream. Certainly, instead of the reward of dream fulfillment, it will mean hurt feelings, a damaged relationship, a need to say I’m sorry, needless anger, or any of several other results—all of which could have been avoided by having a bit more patience.
I think all of us professing to be Christian should keep this in mind. An example of patience will have far greater influence and make us better ambassadors of our faith than will those times of impatience. Patience has far greater reward than impatience.