A month or so ago, my husband and I were enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast out at a Red Deer restaurant. As we dined, a very thin, skittish fellow walked in and sat at the next table. His tattered, unkempt appearance and his habitual rocking motion told us that this was a gentleman in need of some support. He waved off the waitress’s offer of a menu and murmured shakily, “Just coffee, please.”

He drank a few cups, continuing to rock and shake, then suddenly stood and told the waitress he was going outside for a smoke and would be right back. As soon as he was out of earshot, my husband called the server over and informed her that we would like to buy this fellow some breakfast. As we were considering what he may wish to eat, I looked out the window just in time to see the man scurrying away, peering back guiltily over his shoulder. He was running away without paying for his coffee.

We were disappointed that our good intentions went unfulfilled, and sorry that this fellow missed out on what may have been a rare hearty meal. But, as we talked about it, we realized there was a life lesson in this incident.

We asked ourselves, “How many times have we tried to take short-cuts to get what we want or think we deserve, only to miss out on the bigger blessing that could have come had we just waited?”

There’s merit in working toward goals, and in proactively going after what we want in life. But sometimes, and especially when tempted to take short-cuts, we  just need to wait.