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For many of us, life can get pretty busy. If we look at our calendars they are filled with lots of entries. Church events, meetings, family activities, all if not managed against priority can get us into a place of not being effective in anything we are doing; we are just taking up space.

While grocery shopping this week I found myself filling my basket with instant this and quick that. Once I made my way to the frozen food aisle, bingo, right before my eyes was frozen steele cut oatmeal. Beside steele cut oatmeal being very healthy, I enjoy the flavor particularly on cooler mornings. My problem was now solved, in the morning, I could just pop my frozen oats in the microwave and bingo, I am good to go. No longer would I need to put my organic steele cut oats in the rice cooker and wait almost 40 minutes to enjoy.

Compared to my homemade version, the frozen oats fell far below standard. It was not a case of false advertisement because they were in fact steele cut oats, with fruit, just not as good as those that I make in my rice cooker for 40 minutes.

We live in a world that messages instant gratification. You no longer have to wait for much; most things are available with just a flick of a switch or a push of a button. If we don’t like the marriage or the relationship, we get out, if the job takes too long to produce, we quit and go somewhere else only to discover there is something that we don’t like again. If we need to lose weight, no problem there is a pill or a surgery that can fix that; and we have mothers and fathers allowing children to make changes to their bodies through the magic of plastic surgery.

My oatmeal experience reminded me of the value of invested time. Just like my instant oats didn’t taste as good as my homemade, life

is a lot like that. Many of our greatest successes and accomplishments didn’t happen overnight, they took time. I am reminded of a great quote from Albert Einstein, “Many of life’s greatest failures were those that didn’t realize how close they were to success before they quit.”

Sometimes we get in such a rush and we don’t stop to perfect the things we already have in our lives. If we had taken just a little more time or practiced a little more patience, the results could pay far more than starting over and over looking for instant gratification.

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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