Yesterday morning I was heading to a baseball coaching clinic as I will be an assistant coach on my son’s baseball team this season. On that day, just like most days, I started it off with a cup of coffee during my morning devotional time. But for some reason, that cup of coffee seemed to be wearing off quicker than usual. So I decided to stop at a Dunkin Donuts for a little refill of energy.
I was about 5 minutes away from the location where the clinic was being held when I spotted a Dunkin Donuts, so I turned in. It was 10 minutes until I wanted to arrive for the clinic, so I didn’t want it to take too long to get my coffee as I didn’t want to get there later than I had planned (if you know me, you know I’m a stickler for being on time…which for me means at least 10 minutes early). With only 5 minutes of cushion time, I knew I needed to go about this the quickest way.
Thank goodness for Drive Thru! It is just so convenient. And in our always busy, overly fast paced, going from one thing to the next culture, Drive Thru is a stroke of genius.
As I pulled into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, I was presented with an unexpected sight. There were several cars in the Drive Thru line. Apparently a lot of people needed an extra pick me up that morning as well. I sat there for a moment to see how fast the line was moving.
The line was not moving fast at all.
So I made a decision. I decided to park and go inside to order my coffee.
As I pulled into a spot and turned off my car, I looked at the line to make a mental note of the car that would have been in front of me. Then I stepped out of the car, walked inside, and ordered my coffee. I paid and received my coffee, walked back outside and climbed into my car, and then looked over at the line. The car I would have been behind was just now pulling up to the menu board to place their order. I won that race 🙂
Me: One…Random car and person I didn’t know: Zero
As I was driving away, I had a thought. Not a huge mind-blowing, my life was completely changed forever type of thought…just a simple yet profound thought. I thought about the choice I had to get out of my car and walk in to order VS staying in my car and sitting in a line for a few extra minutes, and how it was really just a small example of many life choices I (and everyone else) face on a regular basis.
Will I choose to do what is easiest and is going to be the most convenient for me in the moment, or will I choose to do something that might require a little more work but could lead to better results in the long run? Easier in the moment or better in the long-run? Convenience or Work?
Now I know, I was just getting a cup of coffee…that’s not the most profound thing in the world (unless you’re a serious coffee drinker, in which case you know how important this can be). But it is often true that the smaller choices we make in our life will train us for how we make the bigger choices. If we make smaller decisions based on what will be most convenient for the moment, then we will instinctively follow that pattern when we are making bigger decisions.
I’m not saying convenience isn’t nice, or that it’s a bad thing. I like Drive Thru as much as the next person. But a good work ethic does not come from living for convenience; a job well-done doesn’t come from finding the quickest way to do things; a relationship won’t last through the tough times when convenience is placed before hard work; a skill is not learned and perfected by doing just the bare minimum.
A quality job, a perfected skill, a strong relationship, and a good work ethic come when we make conscious efforts and decisions to not always live for convenience, but rather to be willing to do work. Work that might require more sweat and effort in the moment, but will lead to something better in the long run.
To live for convenience is to live a life always looking for the quick way out…even if that means quitting or giving up rather than being patient and working hard. Good things take work, and great things take even more work.
There will be times when convenience is a fine option, just don’t let it become the preferred option. Don’t live for convenience. Live for something more, something better, something worth working for.
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. – Proverbs 28:19
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. – Proverbs 13:4