Monday, July 22, 2013

Patience

I've began prepping for my youth lesson on Sunday (Wow, I'm way ahead of schedule!) and we're on the 4th week of our series on "The Fruits of the Spirit." This week we're looking at the characteristic of "patience." It's caused me to do a lot of thinking....

We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. The ridiculous amount of us that are in credit card debt for things that "couldn't wait" is evidence. The things that we couldn't afford, but we wanted it anyway are the marks of our impatience. Our lack of patience causes us to miss a lot in our lives.

Rarely do we take a second to take a breath. To enjoy the scenery. To listen to the sounds of children laughing and playing. To enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass on a warm summer day or to bask in the calmness after a spring storm. To watch a dried up leaf fall slowly to the ground in the midst of a crisp fall day is to waste a minute that could be spent worrying.

Instead, our lives are spent running from one task to the next. Methodically planning how we can reach the next rung in the ladder of what our co-workers and society tell us is success. We tell ourselves that it's only a phase in our lives, but that it will calm down eventually. It never does.

Impatience is killing. 

It's killing our families. Our friendships. And our hopes and dreams.

There will come a time when we have no choice but to be patient. When the test results take 6 weeks to come back. When we're forced to sit and wait at the DMV. When we're stuck in traffic.

It is in these moments that our weaknesses are revealed. The results of impatience: anger, hastiness and malice are all brought to the surface when our lack of patience is tested. 

We can try to pretend to be a patient person, but when it is tested the mask is ripped off. Our true identity is revealed. The ugliness of our impatience is displayed for all to see. The words we use in those moments are swords that we use to cut the innocent people around us down.

So in these moments...we must wait....

"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble."
-Titus Maccius Plautus (254 BC - 184 BC)

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