Patience is a Virtue

21 05 2010

As each of us focuses on making “A String of Pearls” and we look at the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) there are 9 pearls that we will focus on cultivating and growing in 2010.  (See our Theme for 2010 tab above for more information on all 9) Here we start our look at our last, Pearl 4 – PATIENCE

I remember hearing someone say that Patience is a Virtue but why?   Webster’s dictionary calls virtue a particular moral excellence.   So does having patience make you a better person?  Think about it.

Think about it this way, when you are driving in your car, rushing because you are running late to get somewhere and then someone cuts in front of you. Patience would have you not get upset or be bothered but continue to focus on your destination.  However this moment without patience  would look like you giving that person the finger and yelling out the window…you all know what I am talking about right?   Patience is a virtue would look like having willpower and restraint in that moment as opposed to getting a attitude because something is in our way.  I can be the first to attest to times that I remember not being patient in a situation and responding to  something too soon, only to find out it would have been better if I had waited, kept my calm and trusted the process.  As a matter of fact, in those times when I need to focus on being patient I often must remind myself of the saying, “good things come to those that wait.” It reminds me to be patiently assured that when it is my time, and if whatever it is, is for me, it will come or it will happen.  However I must admit that sometimes I get stuck up in my own timing and want what I want now instead of focusing on what’s meant to be shall be or God’s timing.   I would liken this to being impatient on Thanksgiving and taking that Turkey out of that oven too soon.  If that happens then guess what,  I have a turkey sitting on my table that is not fully cooked.  It is not done.  So when I think about situation and circumstance in this way, I can leave that person, place or thing that I am being impatient about in the oven, knowing that when it is done, and only when it is done, is when I can pull it out of that oven. If you know what I mean.

According to Wikipedia, “patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting annoyed or angry; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.” So patience really is the ability and willingness to wait without complaining.  The key here is that being tolerant does not mean that you accept everything that happens without questioning it.  Patience is definitely not always content with the place you are in, however it is the act of learning to wait and accepting the process.  Knowing that after you have done all you can do, you must wait.  Just like that turkey on Thanksgiving, if you want it to be fully cooked you must wait!!!

Another example would be  planting a seed.  You water it and water it and sooner or later it will grow.  It is the in-between stage when you see nothing come out of that ground that you have to have that virtue of patience so that you will not give up.   Instead you accept that you must go through this process to get to the other side, the other side of this would be that beautiful flower.

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

Yes, it takes patience to wait for a seed to grow out of that ground, a egg to hatch, that turkey to be completely cooked on Thanksgiving.  However, it also takes patience to watch your 5 year old child, little sister or niece do something without doing it for her.  After all if you do it, how will she ever learn how to do it herself?  This makes me think of a scene from the movie “Ray”.  When Ray Charles is a boy and is just finding out he is loosing his sight.  In one scene he falls down and yells for his mother to help him.  What does his mother do? She is silent and she watches him.  She is silent and allows him to learn to pick himself back up.  Why does she do this?  She does this because she knows that the world will not help her son and that he has to learn how to help himself.  Yes Ray had to become patient with himself as he learned but Ray’s mother also had to be patient with not just Ray but with herself as she allowed him to go through the process to get to the self sufficiency she knew he would need to make it in this world as someone that is blind. The point I am trying to make is that patience is often the key toward reaching any goal in life.   That indeed is why it is a virtue.

To live a life without patience would often have you give up on that turkey before it is cooked all the way through or a seed before it has an opportunity to grow.  You give up on it because you want instant gratification instead of waiting on the process it takes and ya’ll know a Turkey cannot be cooked in a microwave!!! At least not a good one anyway 🙂  Patience allows you to live in the moment, recognizing that change happens over time and is a slow process.  Patience teaches us that if we can just sit back and have peace about any situation we will find acceptance, perseverance and the ability to trust.

As we delve into patience over the next few weeks, think about the areas in your life that make you feel impatient.  Are you impatient about how long it is taking for you to get that raise?   Or your man who is getting on your last nerve? Or the fact that you want a relationship and Mr. Right never seems to come?  Whatever it is, think of one way that you can find peace in the process to have enough patience to get to the other side.

“Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” ~Barbara Johnson

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary it is active; it is concentrated strength.” ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

“How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?”  ~Paul Sweeney

“Patience can’t be acquired overnight.  It is just like building a muscle.  Every day you need to work on it.” ~ Eknath Eswaran

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3 responses

21 05 2010
JC Ellis

This message was right on time for me as I stare at my once lovely yard that is now covered with large brown patches. Why, you ask? I was impatient. Our landscaper fertilized for crabgrass and not dandelions, so we had several dandelion family reunions in our yard. Type A people hate weeds, and I am very type A. I complained and he said he would fertilize for dandelions next month. I impatiently used Round Up to take care of it myself so that my in-laws wouldn’t see a yard filled with dandelions Mother’s Day weekend. Big mistake. Round Up kills weeds and grass. Oops! I’ve spent over 5 hours, raking the dead spots, laying topsoil and spreading grass seed. Our yard is over 7,000 square feet, and my mistake was in the front, back and both sides of our lot!! And I also must run the underground sprinkler twice daily for 2 weeks as I pray for rain and pray that my seed germinates. All because I was too impatient to wait for my landscaper to take care of my eye sore dandelions. I thought the dandelions were embarrassing and I didn’t want to hear my mother in law’s mouth about our lawn. Now I have an even bigger eye sore. And, if the seed doesn’t take, I’m going to pay to have the patches sodded so our house has curb appeal for our secret project….. My beloved husband told me I should just let the landscaper handle it. But I felt the need to fix the problem, myself and used the yard time as part of my devotional time with God under his blue sky, to remind myself that this is what happens when I am impatient. It was time well spent. I really learned my lesson. It’s raining now, and scheduled to rain all day. Boy am I glad. Lesson Learned: a mother in law’s criticism is fleeting. Spraying round up with reckless abandon, is stupid and costly. :>) Patience is now my new virtue!

22 05 2010
Darrylon Splane Evans

I really like this. We live in a society where everything is “hurry up”. Patience is good in situations where you find yourself “losing your cool” but it’s also good to slow down and be patient in life in general. Thanks.

22 05 2010
Darrylon Splane Evans

Thank you for your inspirational words!

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