Don’t know why, but for some reason, patience seems to get a bad rap.
It is too often mistaken for indifference. Considered to be a sign of weakness. Or worse yet, misconstrued by those not in the know as “quit”.
“Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can – working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!…”
Patience, like this, is a rare quality.
It masks an uncommon level of fortitude, equal parts poise and humility, and generous helpings of conviction, will and grit.
Essentially the farthest thing from indifference, weakness and “quit”.
And if you think about it, patience like this is more akin to a certain measure of invincibility.
For anyone can handle getting all they want and need when they want it or need it. When things happen on their time.
But it is a select few that have it in them to not only wait, but know they must wait still longer.
And even though most may have given up and ventured off to find an easier path or shorter route, these select few somehow find a way to embrace all of their waiting.
Because deep down, at the center of their core, they just know that their time is coming. They relish the opportunity that only comes when they finish this particular journey.
Like #18 here.
To me, Vincent is one those few.
He has this spirit about him. He exudes a quiet strength that is found in this level of patience. Like he was built for this test.
Maybe from the outside looking in, one might think he is somewhat aloof, just passing through or simply not there. A tough read to be sure.
But in reality, you will find there is a great deal going on from within.
Vincent is all business.
He possesses this simmering intensity.
Not the calm, cool and collected exterior some will put up and display to distract from some fast and furious paddling going on underneath.
But more so a detailed, deliberate and determined march towards his aspirations, future achievement and a life of excellence.
All guided by a demeanor kept just below boil. A positive attitude that is never far from being brought up that one extra degree to bring the steam, energy and action.
A very subtle strength.
Marked by total cool.
An altogether different level of passion.
One brimming with patience
And though it may seem that all this potential has been held in check for far too long, Vincent rarely strays from his mission, whether short, medium or – long range.
Now, many will want to flee the scene when something does not go according to plan. When disappointment and doubt begin to fill the landscape.
If things start to hurt, it is only natural that you would want to put as much distance between you and the source.
But then there are those that willingly move towards it. Recognize momentary adversity for what it is, and glean from it a sliver of opportunity.
Perhaps it isn’t precisely what they wanted or needed at that instant. But they know it will get them that much closer to where it is they ultimately want to go.
You see, it never pays to stray too far out of the orbit of one’s desire.
Just ask Vincent.
He was always willing to make another pass or as many as he needed, knowing all the while that each fly by would undoubtedly bring him that much closer to his dream.
He was a true team player at Homestead.
He chose to be that guy.
The one that surrendered himself and his needs to make his team all that it was meant to be.
He played any position, accepted any role and did whatever was needed – like it or not – to help raise his teammates to new heights.
Only if you know in your heart that your time will come would you be able to muster that kind of strength.
A passion brimming with patience.
And that level of “want to” is precisely what will make him an integral part of the Memphis college football program this fall and for the next four or so years.
It isn’t an easy road.
To know you have to set aside your personal desires in favor of others – and then actually do it.
To see this ability as your gift and then actually gravitate toward the uncertainty. The anxiety. The very real potential for more delay, greater disappointment and even defeat.
Yet Vincent has thrived in such an environment.
Of all the blooms from this class, he could very well be the last to blossom.
He understands that circumstances aren’t ever to be considered a setback, failure or defeat. He knows there is too much to be learned about oneself in that moment. Too much to be gained for the future from that instant. Too much opportunity to overlook.
Eyes forever focused on the future, yet fully in his present, Vincent never wavered in his commitment.
No matter that circumstances may not have favored his precise set of talents of abilities at this point.
He knows that given the opportunity – or by creating one – his contribution can and will make the difference.
Vincent will likely red shirt this season in college.
Once again, he will take the long way.
Weights, diet, more speed work and a willingness to do whatever it takes will likely get Vincent onto that field in Memphis.
All it will take is time.
And clearing a few more hurdles in a stretch full of them.
A path he knows well.
A “wait” he knows how to bear.
For this young man’s patience has made him “in-Vince-able”.