I recently read a magazine headlined, “Whatever Happened to Patience?” The cover photo has an image of people waiting in line at a tax office obviously impatient. The woman at the counter was arguing and seems to have taken so long going by the faces of those waiting/ or could we say forced to wait by circumstances beyond their control.
To remain committed in the journey and with perseverance in life, we have to watch out for this enemy that lurks in the corner - Impatience.
People normally say about themselves, “I am not a patient person” or “I am not patient with such people.” Personally I think impatience has grown popular in this day and age. We are always looking for the next big thing, the faster way to execute a job – so much so, that we miss the mark.
Good things come to those who wait.
Granted, patience is a virtue. I think until we face the ugliness of the effects of some habits, we can’t and maybe won’t see the need of adopting other habits.
Impatience causes frustration, anger and stress – related issues.
Consider the growth of an oak tree. An acorn seed takes 3-6 months to germinate into a sapling. “The growth process is a slow one, with white oaks producing new growth at a rate of 10 to 15 feet within a span of 10 to 12 years, according to the Clemson University Extension. Though growth is slow, white oaks have a life expectancy surpassing 100 years.” (Source in the link below) Can you imagine an oak tree can live up to 1000 years? If the acorn can wait that long, what are you getting overly impatient for?
|photo credit: Steve Clancy via photopin creative commons|
There are various impatience triggers ranging from the simplest to the most complex (depending on your perception). Waiting for an elevator, reading through a book, church services, electioneering periods, a couple waiting for a child from God, saving to buy a home, expanding a business, working towards your area of purpose – we would not be able to exhaustively name them here. Even as simple waiting for a bus or having to be stuck in a traffic jam.
What gets to us most about having to wait is the possibility of being denied what we are waiting for, especially when we are under circumstances out of our control. And the more we try to control these things, the more we get frustrated. The only person we can change, or control is ourselves. Once we change, only then can we influence others to change.
Patience is an inside job.
Love is patient. Love is the root of patience. If you understand that you are loved by God, you will love yourself and ultimately love others. You will be patient with God because you know that He is patient with you. You will be patient with yourself and in turn be patient with others. With every trial you face in life – your patience grows. Trials come from the outside environment, and are meant to test your faith.
Will you be still, will you be quiet, assured that you have a Father looking after your best interest? He not only precedes and prepares for you the place where you are going; He also prepares you for that time and place.
It must have taken a lot of patience for Abraham to wait 25 years for God’s promise to be fulfilled in getting Isaac as a son. He got a bit impatient and had a son with a servant, Hagar. But God’s promise was still fulfilled when he was 100 years while Sarah was 90 years then. We now call him the “Father of Nations.”
Here is my take, let us take moments to smell the roses, enjoy the warmth of the sun during the day, and laugh out loud. Take moments to linger and reflect; invest in close relationships with those whom you care deeply about. Help a friend. Buy lunch for a hungry kid on the street. Random acts of kindness. Do today what you can. When tomorrow comes, you will deal with whatever comes your way.
While you are waiting, worry less and work on changing you. Be the BEST you (you) can be.
Maybe, delay is good. Delay may mean that better things are coming your way. Delay may also mean that you need to develop endurance and a strong character for what awaits you in the future.
Delay after all, is not denial.
What are your impatience triggers? What has been your experience with delays and growing in patience?
James 1:2-4 (MSG) Faith Under Pressure
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Resources: Growth Rate of Oak Trees