Patience: n 1: the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient. Patient: adj. 1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. 2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain. 3: not hasty or impetuous. 4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.
Why is patience so difficult? I see so much impatience around me. And I struggle so much with patience: patience with others, patience with myself, patience with God. Why?
Patience with others. Why can’t I show others the same respect I desire for myself? When others fail to act in the ways I think they should act, I get impatient. Well, who says I have the right to say how others should act? Who is God here? Each person is on their own journey. And they are in different places in their lives than I am. Can I not respect them as they are, where they are?
Patience with myself. Again, I get impatient with myself when I don’t act the way I think I should or wish I could. When I fail to measure up to my standards, I assume failure and grow impatient. Really? Failure? Should? Could? Would I treat a friend this way?
Patience with God. I , of course, know how things should be. I offer my opinions to God regularly. Funny thing about God: He does things His way…and He’s always right (which is somewhat irritating). Again, who is God here?
I think patience is a good goal to work on in 2016, and the rest of my life. Help me, Lord.
I love the quiet of the morning. All I hear is the ticking of the clocks (yes, plural) and the comforting hum of the heater. I relish the quiet. All around me are tasks calling me to get to work. However, I continue to sip my coffee contentedly (if not defiantly). It’s in mornings like this that I tend to focus on God’s goodness to me. Although it’s 21 degrees out, I am warm and safe in my home. As I made my coffee, I felt grateful that I could simply turn on the tap for my water, rather than having to go out to fetch it and carry it home. In the nearby bedroom, sleeps a man who still loves me (and puts up with me) after 20 years. My life with Jim has been, and continues to be, amazing. I think of my friends Fred & Roberta who helped me get past my fears to be able to say “yes” to Jim. I pass our guest room, all prepared for visitors, and think about all the lovely friends — young and old — that the Lord has given me. I expect my father and brother will phone or text (our normal morning routine) and thank God for my wonderful family or origin. Beside me are my Bible, Book of Common Prayer and book of saints, and I am grateful for the gift of faith and of teachers who have helped me along my journey of faith. I am grateful, too, for all those Saints and saints who have gone before me. I think of my family and friends in Heaven. God did not have to do all this for me. He has done all of this simply out of love and mercy. How do I show my gratitude? I like “The General Thanksgiving” on page 101 in the Book of Common Prayer. Part of it says, “And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days…” Well I have a l-o-n-g way to go to be holy and righteous. I am, however, enormously grateful and am trying.