Do you have an Instant Pot? Do you ever brew instant coffee or eat instant mashed potatoes? How often do you drive to the ATM to withdraw cash instantly? Do you ever make instant pudding for dessert?
Everywhere we look, we seem to have access to instant gratification. Much of it is terrific and often pays off by giving us more time and energy to enjoy our favorite things in life. But growing expectations for instant gratification have spilled over into areas where instant doesn’t exist. When dealing with things that have no instant answers or fixes, our misplaced expectations for them have eroded our patience and decreased our stamina. And that’s where troubles arise.
For some drivers who want to keep moving, delayed traffic delays their gratification and may lead to road rage.
When someone prays for relief for a loved one who is very ill and doesn’t receive an answer immediately, they may rage at God.
And when it comes to working out difficulties in relationships, no one should be distracted by instant gratification. Singer Frankie Avalon once said about the fast-food, McDonald hamburger, “It’s all wham, bam. That’s tough enough on a burger. It’s impossible with a relationship.”
Instant gratification has rewards, like giving us extra time to do with as we like. But there are many situations in our lives where an expectation or desire for instant gratification is not practical. And that’s when we are required to unpack our patience and stamina to give time, time.
And there is a reward in that, too. When you stop expecting instant gratification, you may come to believe that where you are today is exactly where you should be. And when you come to that conclusion, you will discover that living in the Now is instantly gratifying.