You know, sometimes an inconvenience may be a good thing.
A week ago my hall of residence was experiencing some difficulties in water distribution, hence a lot of rooms did not have water flowing out from the taps in their bathrooms. So here I was on a Friday night, with my two identical blue pails, going down the flight of stairs to fetch water from a room three storeys below mine. An activity I most definitely did not anticipate when I woke up that morning. I was not pleased by this development. At all. But my need for water overrided my feelings about the whole situation, so I had to do what I had to do.
Got to the washroom on the ground floor, turned on a tap. Water gushed out. Yes! The washroom has multiple taps which I decided to make use of because I wanted to get it done with faster. The first bucket went under the tap and I turned it on. For some reason I delayed a little in getting the second bucket under the nearest tap to the first one, so let’s just say that about 20 seconds went by before I turned the second cap on.
We probably all know how these things work, conventionally the bucket that goes under the tap first should get full before the others. So subconsciously my eyes were focusing more the bucket that started filling first. It was also a bit dim in the washroom so I couldn’t really see that clearly. I may have even begun to daydream a little.
What brought my mind back to reality was the sound of water overflowing from a full bucket. The second bucket.
Basically, the bucket that got a late start was filled first. At that point the Holy Spirit reminded me again, that “first to start is not always first to finish, and that’s okay”. In this life, even though we may be exposed to the same circumstances and experiences as others in a certain place, and may have even gotten a ‘headstart’, it is possible that a ‘latecomer’ reaches the peak of whatever life pursuit before others do.
To the latecomer, what happens when you reach that ‘peak’, whether academic, professional, spiritual or social? Will you assume a proud attitude and begin to look at everyone through lofty eyes? Or will you react in humility, knowing that there is nothing you have that you have not given?
What happens when you’re the one who had the headstart? Do you allow comparison and seeds of ingratitude to be sown in your heart, and begin to act in resentment like God isn’t good and He doesn’t love you? Or will you count your blessings, understand that everyone’s journey is peculiar to them, refuse to be jealous at the achievements of others, and instead rejoice when others are rejoicing?
I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV
But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God].
1 TIMOTHY 6:6 AMP