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By John Pierce

Patience is one of life’s biggest challenges. At least it is for some of us.

Recently I visited an Atlanta-area retirement community to participate in a book signing for Walker Knight, founding editor of Baptists Today. His wonderful memoirs, From Zion to Atlanta, were freshly published by our Nurturing Faith imprint.

The turn out was good, the residents were warm and the staff hospitable. Dallas Lee, a gifted writer, former colleague and longtime friend of Walker’s, read selections from the book.

Then the sales and signing began. Walker’s hand got a good workout as he penned personal messages to his neighbors whom he has befriended.

The release of the book, he told me, revealed more of his ministry side than he had previously shared around the dinner or bridge tables. So he’s been entertaining a lot more theological questions — from a wide variety of questioners — than before.

While unloading the books and setting up for the event in the lobby, I noticed this sign over the mailboxes that caused me to smile and snap a photo.

Its history was obvious: the staff must have tired of responding to a multitude of questions from residents about whether or not the mail had arrived. “Not yet” likely flowed from their lips several times each day.

Now this sign gives the residents the “Hang on” or “Hold your horses” message in two short words: “Not yet.”

I didn’t check the other side of the sign to see if it reports: “It’s here” or “Mail call” or “Now!” But I’m sure the turning of the sign from “Not yet” to the more affirmative side brings a rush of residents seeking whatever the mail carrier might have delivered on that day.

Whether in prayer or practice, “Not yet” may not appear as clearly to us as this good sign. But it is a message that most us hear or sense often.

Life often calls for a healthy amount of patience — whether easy for us or not.

 

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