And then it hit me.
Every time I have made a decision from selfishness or impatience it has been detrimental. Every time God changed the circumstances of my life it has been beneficial.
If I look through the list of the major errors and blunders of my life, they have all been rooted in either selfishness (I want what I want) or impatience (I want it now). In every situation where this has occurred, the outcome was bad - and my bad decisions range from the intensely personal and emotional to the financial and career side. Every time, the outcome that I desired turned to ash in my hand.
On the other hand, every time that circumstances changed because of God, they have worked out well - like finding a job after The Firm after a month or finding a job after I was laid off in 2009 just as the severance package ran out. Or finding a home here when we needed it, or finding another one to buy just before the market peaked. Or finding a second job here, one that has done a great deal more than I could have ever hoped for.
What does this remind us of? Proverbs 3: 5-8:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes:
Fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will bring healing to your flesh,
and strength to your bones."
What does it mean practically? That I need to make no decisions based on selfishness or impatience. That I need to submit my decisions to God - and wait. And especially, in the absence of any direction, do not move forward with either selfishness or impatience.
It means that I accept my current situation from God. If things are not going well - whether it be my job or my finances or my personal relationships - there is a reason for it. I need to persevere through the situation or be released from it - because it is occurring for some purpose that is ultimately good.
I cannot pretend this will not be easy. But if I am driven by data at work, I can be no less driven by data in my personal life. And time and again, this is what the data shows.
Wait, be patient, be blessed. Do not wait, be impatient, do not be blessed. It seems it is rather that simple.