One has heard this cliché saying probably too many times to count and yet it is not true in the slightest. I was thinking as I was waiting for my nighttime tea a few minutes ago (I drink decaffeinated mint or wellness tea before bed on many nights) and it hit me: even a watched pot boils. Now I know you dear reader are well acquainted with this fact and it has probably never struck you as hard as it did me. You put water in a pot, place heat underneath and it boils. I saw this happening in front of me and in my head an analogy was drawing itself together.
The reason, it seems, that a watched pot never boils is because all of the energy and focus is on the watching. No other actions are occupying the watcher. Not preparing the tea, setting a table, reading a book. The action is consumed with simply watching. Were there to be other actions such as previously mentioned the time would not be consumed by one act that is not tantalizing to the mind or able to distract. The pot will still boil in the same amount of time whether watched or not however if, while in the waiting, one places focus in another direction the pot seems to boil in no time at all.
Could this be true in all life? Does it seem true that when one is waiting to find “the right one” or to fall hopelessly in love, the love does not come? It is when you are least expecting it. When your focus is off of the one thing you are waiting for without truly forgetting you are still waiting for it, time ticks on by.
Think of it this way: we all have character flaws. I, having many, will share with you one. I often live in doubt. I doubt that I am truly loved. I doubt that my friends actually like me. I doubt that my coworkers really mean the nice things they say. I doubt my husband actually means it when he says I am not fat and that I am beautiful. I doubt when people say they like my outfit, the way I decorate my house, that they like my singing, and so on. Most of all, and it is a shame to say, I doubt the Lord. I doubt that I am truly His beloved. I doubt that He truly fogets my sins the second I commit them. I doubt, at times, that the words of the bible are true.
This character flaw of mine is a hard one to face, yet as a watched pot, it will boil in time. Let me explain: if my sole focus on enhancing my person and my walk with the Lord is to not doubt, I do not think I will get very far. I may end up somewhere eventually but the process would be grueling if my daily walk was “you fool! Stop doubting! Just BELIEVE why don’t you!” Instead, I focus on living the truth whether I feel it or not. I still worship the Lord, I still study His word, I still try to live with right action honoring to His name. I can walk in confidence knowing that everyday in confidence whittles away the doubt inside of me.
So, you see, by not watching the simmering pot of doubt it can seemingly boil faster into something usable. Lukewarm water never does any good, does it? That is what I learned while making my pot of tea before bed.