The Art of…
Why is grasping the idea of patience so difficult? Why should it take so long for my dreams to come true? Why are there some days I lack patience to a point where everything I encounter seem to just annoy me to no end? Why am I so impatient about silly little things? If you struggle with these thoughts, this post is especially for you.
If you’re anything like me, and bless your heart if you are, then it is an understatement to say being patient is a struggle. My impatience begins most days on my morning commute to my place of employment, along with it comes some road rage (of which I’m sure my mother had no part in passing on, just kidding, mom it totally was from you.) Some days it is difficult to wait for the three minutes to pass for my tea to brew so I can drink it. Like I said above, some days it seems every little thing that doesn’t exactly how I planned it ticks me off, I become impatient and agitated. A lot of my impatience spills over from my younger, more spry and athletic self where, while competing in the various sports I played, I would often become impatient at myself for making mistakes and the like. Now that I am no longer playing sports competitively, it has become increasingly clear to me that I cannot perform the way that I once did, and therefore cannot hold myself to that same standard of the past. These days it is not sports so much that I become impatient at, I find myself more impatient with my hopes and dreams, the direction of my life and guidance from God, where He wants me. I’m more impatient with the direction of this country, the government and the ability of their leadership to guide this country in a proper way. I’m more impatient with the amount of people suffering in this world, I’m eager for the return of my Savior to set the balance of this world back in order.
Patience is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as the following, “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I wonder how many of us can honestly say that we excel at being patient. I know that I sure cannot say that. Accepting things that do not go exactly as we would like them is such a tough pill to swallow for so many people in a culture that is so tailored to cater to your every need. Technology and new advancements in all sorts of areas are geared to make your life easier, more convenient and supposedly more enjoyable. But is it really making life better?
In a word, no. We are becoming a culture increasingly obsessed with having the next greatest and best thing on the market today. How many of us cannot seem to function without our cell phones in our hands or near us at all times? How many of us freak out if, God forbid, the wifi in our home suddenly and inexplicably ceases to operate correctly? Do not mistake this as me hating on technology, because frankly I love the ease of use with which the iPad I’m using to write gives me. What I am saying however, is that maybe technology and the vast number of things at our fingertips, seemingly pulled from all corners of the world in an instant, is damaging the way we operate as human beings. Instead of controlling these things, these little devices and technological tools, more often than not it is the other way around where we are being controlled. This affects our ability to have patience when it is called for.
Patience seems to me to be a problem of denying our immediate gratification and satisfaction for something that could have the potential of impacting our life in such a way that lasts so much longer. We don’t want to be patient because most of us do not really have the discipline or the will power to go though the process. Personally, I struggle with patience on the basis of looking long term, because perhaps what is at my fingertips at this present moment may seem so good and helpful. I struggle with being nearsighted in my endeavors, where I find it difficult to keep the long term goal in mind at times.
I attended a worship service this past Sunday where the pastor spoke on the story of the crippled man and his friends that lowered him through a hole in the roof to get to Jesus from the account of Mark. One of the things that he mentioned had never occurred to me before. The idea was this; perhaps what we are making our priority might not be what is the most important thing to God at this moment. This is really something to chew on, and something I have been and will continue to wrestle with. Perhaps we need to examine what we place importance on, on how patient and diligent we are willing to be to align ourselves with God’s will for our lives.
So pray for me as I continue this journey of patience and growth, of learning how to prioritize what God puts in my heart and in front of me. Know that I will most definitely being doing the same for all of y’all.