As a native Floridian, I’ve listened for years to the hubbub about saving the sea turtles. It just wasn’t on my radar until I spent last week on the beach on Longboat Key. The shore was lined with the protected nests and I became fascinated. A subsequent visit to Mote Marine Research Lab & Aquarium was an “Aha” experience and for the first time, I realized why people are so passionate about the subject. It’s amazing how understanding brings facts to life.
“We can only sense that in the deep and turbulent recesses of the sea are hidden mysteries far greater than any we have solved.” -Rachel Carson
As a graduate of the Rainforest Business Institute, I naturally connect lessons from nature to life and business. The lessons from the sea turtles illuminated a life challenge I’ve been pondering for weeks… delay. Whenever we have a dream and run into difficulties, detours and feel like we’ve been blown completely off course, we begin to wonder if we will ever see what we have hoped for.
We are often our own worst critics and tend to judge ourselves harshly – inevitably falling short of our own expectations. The danger is we can get sucked into a pool of despair – thinking we will never see the fulfillment of the deepest desires of our heart. We look at lost years and wasted time and our frustration deepens.
The Years of Delay Are Not Lost
“The Lost Years” are a stage in the growth and development of sea turtles. They are years of learning and maturation when the turtles are not seen – so it’s easy to think they have disappeared. Not so. Young turtles literally “go with the flow” – as in drifting with ocean currents instead of swimming madly with a particular destination in mind. As children, we do this naturally. As adults, we agonize over our progress, or lack thereof, and become disillusioned. We lose the courage to stay the course.
Hear me on this – the years of delay are not lost years.
Now is the time to do that thing you’ve been wanting to do. The light is green. It’s time to go.
Write the book.
Start that business.
Forgive the one who wronged you.
Don’t just dream the dream – it’s time for action.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12) When you have a dream, an expectation – something you’re looking forward to and it’s continually delayed – your heart grows sick. When your heart is in grief it affects everything and everyone in your life. It affects energy and motivation. It weakens you and can literally make you physically ill.
You yearn for the sea to part before you so you can walk through the deep on dry ground. There seems to never be a perfect time for anything and yet we are constantly searching. Ever alert. Ever waiting for the right path to appear in all its glory. We tell ourselves that we will be ready when our time comes but we’re not sure what our time would even look like if we bumped right into it.
And so you wait.
You wait for a sign. Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself you don’t know enough. You need more education. You need permission from someone with more authority and experience than you. You think you aren’t ready and long for affirmation.
I know, because I’ve been there. That little voice inside argues incessantly that you’re too busy, it’s too late, your voice won’t make a difference, it’s a risk… the excuses go on ad nauseam.
Then someone speaks into your life and you hear it. For me, it was the words of someone I just met saying, “Here’s a pen as a sign to remind you every day to write the book.”
Here’s the truth: It’s never going to be the perfect time. Not for you. Not for this thing. If you keep waiting for the right time you will likely be waiting forever. You can’t afford to delay any longer. Not with this thing. Because your heart knows what you are designed for. You are looking for the right path that leads to a door marked “The Right Choice” and you want someone to push you through it.