The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8
Some people resist change. I’m married to a person like that. My son, takes after his dad and resists change. I am not that way. I often long for change. I confess that I get bored easily and when “the next thing” nears, I become utterly impatient to the point of almost being debilitated. The two things don’t mix well; desiring change often and the anxiety that I get when the change draws near!
For me, I get bored with the thing that I had once anticipated intensely. For example, as the end of the school year neared, I became intensely anxious about what the summer would hold. I worried about how our new neighborhood would accept me and how our lack of routine would effect our family. I’m telling you, I lost sleep over anticipating the summer. Now, the summer is less than one week from concluding and I find myself experiencing the same anticipation as I had just a couple of months ago. But looking back, I can see that the Summer days that I had anticipated so much were fun-filled and did not deserve the anxious energy that I had invested in them before hand!
Now, I realize that from that description, it sounds more like I resist change than I look forward to it. And perhaps there is room in there for a little resistance, but by in large, I look forward to it. The scripture reference from Ecclesiastes resonates so deeply for me. It’s the “end of the matter” that I actually long for.
When I take the time to pull this scripture apart a little, I am encouraged by it; “The end of a matter is better than its beginning…” In other words, “The event of our trials and difficulties is often better than at first we thought.”(Henry’s Commentary) Even if the event we anticipate isn’t a trial or difficulty, it’s the getting to it that I wish would hurry up. For example, now that summer is coming to a close, I am filled with anticipation over school starting. The beginning of school is neither a trial nor difficulty, quite the contrary in fact. This year, my youngest begins Kindergarten and I, being a stay at home mom, eagerly anticipate a little me time. But I still find myself longing for it’s beginning…simply to get the end, which is that me time that I so desire.
“…and patience is better than pride.” Matthew Henry’s commentary describes this as “calmness of spirit”. Need I say more?
To be sure, it’s the calmness of spirit that I long for each day, but especially as I choose how to invest my energy anticipating the next thing.