Once again I am participating in the blog carnival hosted by Bridget Chumbley. The word for the day is “Patience.” This is partially my fault as I suggested the fruit of the Spirit would be great series of themes. I am not one for patience, but I am one to have fun.
To that end I will be updating this post throughout the day with my thoughts on patience.
Thought One: Patience is a Virtue
Whenever I think of Patience this is the first thing that comes to my mind. The second though I always have is that it is a virtue I do not have. I try to be patient but I just can’t focus that long. If I have to wait for something I tend to either forget about it or obsess over it. I can see how it would be virtuous. Whether I am waiting at the DMV or am talking to one of my students patience would serve me well. I start off doing well but I tend to get distracted and forget why I need to be patient. I start thinking ahead and about other things. I get frustrated and eventually exasperated.
Thought Two: Patience is Earned
I wish it could be bought or given. I use to think that maybe God would just grant patience if you pray for it. I made that mistake and learned my lesson. When you pray for patience, then God seeks to teach you patience. Expect to wait for EVERYTHING until you find serenity while waiting or beg for mercy in your foolish request. Well, I assume that once you’ve learned patience God eases up the lessons. I didn’t make it that far.
Thought Three: There are No Shortcuts
It is just like getting in shape. Sure there are a millions products on tv that claim to make getting in shape easy. Pills, dieting secrets, exercise videos, weird exercise equipment, and even devices that electrocute your muscles. These things and more fill the garages and attics of overweight and easily winded people around the country. Promises of an easy way to get in shape that never panned out. Patience is the same. There are probably all manner of books and sermons that promise to teach the secret to patience. Unless they share this simple truth they are a sham. To find patience in your life you must endure suffering.
Thought Four: SERENITY NOW!!!!
I never liked Seinfeld. There I’ve said it. Please don’t judge me. Despite not liking the show I have not been able to escape it. It has become part of out culture and I can quote many lines form the series that I never watched. I know that there is an episode where Frank Costanza is yelling “Serenity Now” for some reason. I don’t know but I assume that he is trying to bring peace into his life for some reason. It amuses me because this is a great example of trying to get patience by following some simple process. I also assume that it failed because it is Seinfeld.
Real patience comes from Peace which we find in God.
Thought Five: Patience Probably isn’t What You Think
I should have put this first. After you read this go back and read everything else and see if that changes what the rest means. I wanted to put it first, but then I decided that I wanted people to read the other thoughts throughout this day with their own framework (I know a fancy German word for this but it would be silly to use it unless I just wanted to sound smart).
Most of us think of patience within the realm of waiting patiently. Maybe you are waiting for something big, like a job, a child, good news from the doctor … It really tests your perception of patience, and to be honest it is close to the truth of what patience is. Patience is about enduring hardship. Look up the word in a dictionary if you don’t believe me. We water down words to the point that we don’t know what they mean any more. Some older English Bibles use the phrase “long suffering” where newer Bibles say “Patience.” I have struggled with this myself on many occasions.
I feel pressed because I have to wait on things, but that isn’t really a test of my patience. Enduring with “people of God” pushes the limits of my patience though. I struggle back and forth between the real meaning of the word and my preconceived notion of what patience means.
Now go back and read my thoughts under this idea of patience being about enduring hardship. Look at your own life and ask if maybe you have more patience than you thought.
This is my final thought on this. If you viewed this blog early in the day that I originally posted it you would have found an incomplete post with a few thoughts. Ever 3 hours or so I updated with a new thought until all five thoughts were posted.
Just out of curiosity, for those that saw the less than complete post, how often did you check back? What did you think of my little play on the theme?