How long would you have the patience to prepare before you saw any results?
I recently spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic doing dental work for impoverished people with no access to care. While I was there with my team, we talked to a man named Jairol who was born and raised in the area we were serving. Jairol told us that a major goal for any Dominican family was to one day own a house made out of blocks or bricks.
A block house has the benefit of greater protection and stability. The wind and rain don’t come through the walls and you don’t have to worry about it being blown over during a tropical storm. Most people in the Dominican Republic live in homes made of wood planks or bamboo. But now and then you can see a house made out of bricks or even concrete.
We asked Jairol if those people had better jobs and therefore could afford a nicer home.
“No” he said, “they have the same jobs as everyone else around here but they put themselves on a 5 year plan. They work extra hours and save everything they can. In the first year they buy the concrete for a foundation. The second year they buy the bricks. Then they work another year to buy the cement. The fourth year they save up for the roofing materials. The fifth year they save up to pay for the labor. Anybody can do it but not very many do. Most people just talk about having their block house some day but they never do anything about it.”
That conversation really stuck with me because part of me can relate to the people who never started saving for their block house. I have a lot of lofty goals for myself that I fully expect to accomplish some day, but what am I ready to sacrifice now to make sure they actually happen in the future? How long would I be willing to go without seeing tangible results before I gave up?
Society increasingly teaches us to look for instant results. I fear that we are losing the ability to work towards goals that might take a prolonged effort before they come about. The problem for most people is that many of the great endeavors in life require a prolonged commitment of time, effort, and faith. Many of the best things in life take years to accomplish and that fact alone is enough to scare people away from ever starting. Even if it took a decade, wouldn’t 10 years of sacrifice be worth it for a lifetime enjoying the benefits?
A bamboo house can be built in a few days. A block house takes years of sacrifice, planning, and saving. In your life, are you content living in a “bamboo house” or are you working towards a “block house”? What do you allow yourself to settle for?
I hope that we can all be willing to put forth the small daily efforts that will build a wonderful future.