The Power of Patience
“No actor forgets the times he couldn’t get a job. I think everyone doing this operates from that fear. You don’t want that momentum to stop when you get it” — Ben Affleck
It was a late August evening. I knelt behind a dugout fence watching my son on the mound. We’d entered the last inning of the game ahead by six runs. It was a comfortable dusk. I thought we were set and my mind wandered to where we’d stop for dinner.
The first runner hit a ground ball that made it to the outfield. The second did the same followed by an error on our side. The third hit fairly. Soon enough the bases were loaded.
My son looked at me from the mound.
“You good?” I asked. He nodded.
The chain of events that you are probably expecting followed. It was a comedy of errors and situations. Runs scored. Bases stayed loaded. Suddenly we were up by one run with nobody out.
The batter bunted foul directly in front of where I knelt. My son jogged over and picked up the ball. My heart was pounding. My mind moved to the post game speech. What would I tell them?
What would I tell him?
“Do you want to come out?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
He went back to the mound, at this point nearing pitch eighty.
The next batter struck out. Suddenly we had a glimpse of life. Still, what were the odds. Any hit would tie the game.
We made eye contact again.
“You want to come out?”
He shook his head.
The next batter struck out. Somehow he’d dug in and started making things happen. Maybe this would work. I felt the subtle shift inside.
The next kid made contact, foul, three times. He’d worked himself into a full count. My heart was pounding again. The sun had almost set. The field had no lights. This would be it. A tie would mean a loss for the tournament.
He had one pitch.
I watched him throw it and the batter swing. The ball skied to the right, but in the field of play. I yelled to my son to get it. He ran to his side, raised his glove, and I didn’t release my breath. The sound was clear enough.
He’d made the catch.
The game was over.
The Power in Patience comes in threes.
1-Faith: The choice to persist is an expression of faith and an acknowledgement of path. You know a choice is coming. Outside forces may be pushing for a result. Rushing the result can be deadly. Have faith in your story and timing that is unique to you alone.
2-Investment: Adversity is only beaten by choice. Turn away or persist. Rise to the occasion. Get better now. Your patience to stay the course shows your investment in the end goal. Make no mistake, resistance will be there. How you deal will determine your legacy.
3-Power: Our movement should be calculated, creative, and genuine. Chip away at large goals. Understand that time is relative. Be willing to stay the course. Be willing to deal with pounding hearts and fear. Face down anxiety. There is power in the stillness of patience. Use it wisely.
Hindsight is 20/20
I could have pulled him and taken the safe route. Maybe we would have won, or maybe not. It was a victory for him and the team. It was a statement, one he still talks about today, only happening because of the power in patience.