He didn't wait. For that I'm grateful.
He lavished us with the rules, the commands, the protection for a lifetime. He metes out the blessings for obedience and the curses for rebellion. It seems harsh, but he's not just the ref with the rules all in his head. He's the coach with the compassionate heart, the one who teaches, protects, guides, hones us into what we never could be without him.
And he didn't wait for our gratitude. He did it for love. He crafted us and knows of our potential and loves us that much.
Enough to do the hard thing, the thankless job. He's the heavy with the "Thou shall nots." Even so, he's willing.
And after many years and meanderings through life, I begin to glimpse it — the love of his thankless way. And I begin to feel grateful.
That he didn't wait. That he loves forever. Always, even when I don't understand where he's leading. When I wring my hands instead of hold his. When I thought I knew better than He.
He didn't wait for my gratitude. It wasn't pre-requisite for his love.
But I give it freely now, rendered speechless by his unending impatience to woo me nearer, his never relenting in the face of my ever complaining.
He didn't wait, and I [am grateful.] (Last two words added after the timer.)