pa·tience [pey-shuhns] noun
1. the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or anger.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
Type the word PATIENCE into any search engine and you’ll get back pages and pages of listings – from definitions and quotes to articles, papers and even scripture verses. Some are on the art of being patient, some about the importance. Some sites list steps to learn patience and others speak about patience from the standpoint of well-being. Heck, even Guns & Roses wrote a song about it.
Here are a few quotes I found and liked:
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. ~ Margaret Thatcher
Slow and steady wins the race. ~ Aesop
Patience makes lighter what sorrow may not heal. ~Horace
All things come around to him who will but wait. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And one of my favorite Bible verses:
And we say that those who accepted their troubles with patience now have God’s blessing. You have heard about Job’s patience. You know that after all his troubles, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind. ~James 5:11 ERV
I am not a patient person. I wish I was, but the truth is that I would usually prefer that things happen in the timeframe that I expect. Waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting on hold – all things that simply drive me crazy! Worse yet, waiting for someone to do something that of course I think I can do in half the time or could do better.
This has long been a troubling issue for me and one I try to work at – recovering from my Type A personality!
Patience is an increasingly lost art in today’s world. With continual improvements to technology, we can now get and share information and messages with a swipe of a finger – literally. Haven’t we all become used to having things happen instantly? I need information and there it is. I want that item, even though I don’t have the money for it – so I’ll just use my credit card. I want to be skinny now, so I’ll just pop a pill or try this fab new diet or surgery. I want to be happy – or at least not so sad – so maybe this pill or bottle will help me along!
As a rule, not one of these things is always bad. Sometimes we need information fast or to get a message out in a hurry. Sometimes we must put a needed item on credit. And sometimes a medicine or surgical procedure is needed to keep us going. But sometimes, just sometimes, we use these things because we are impatient and don’t want to wait for the right time to get what we want.
How about patience as it relates to how we deal with people? Maybe they don’t respond to us quickly enough, or they don’t learn something as fast as we think they should. Maybe they don’t change fast enough for us, to be the people we think they should be. At the core, these are sometimes selfish feelings on our part. Do we think about the person who is challenging our patience and how our expectations might be making them feel? Do they wish we had more patience in dealing with them? It’s definitely a two-sided dilemma.
I have certain situations that I am working through currently, where a healthy dose of patience would go a long way. It is a struggle for me, but I work at it daily. I have good days and bad days in this journey – but all are intended to teach me something, I’m sure! I wish there was a faster solution, or a magic pill that would just inject an abundance of patience into me, but that just isn’t the case. Yet I refuse to be defeated! I’m a work in progress, a puzzle that is not yet fully assembled! At some point all of the pieces will fit together and I’ll be whole. The person I am meant to be. Probably that will happen someplace other than this earth!
Until then, I get up each day asking to be blessed with patience for the coming day’s events and interactions. It’s a process that I take one step and one circumstance at a time. My goal – to reflect a peace in me that allows me to show patience to others. Lofty yes, but not unattainable! Wish me luck!
“We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4,NCV).