Our culture has an obsession with doing things faster. I presently work with those in the manufacturing industry and they are constantly pushing to produce more “widgets” in less time. We know how important food can be to fuel our bodies, yet often we settle for a fast food choice based on convenience. Even our “leisure time” now caters to our desire to go faster… with the advent of DVR, most of us skip the commercials to save time. So in this milieu how can we learn to value patience?
Again it will do us will to be reminded of our overarching subject. These characteristics are fruit or evidences of the Spirit’s presence in our life.This takes some of the pressure off. We are not responsible to manufacture these attributes. Rather we cultivate our own yieldedness to the power and influence of the Spirit. This is true for all the aspects we are talking about.
The old joke says, “Lord, I want patience… and I want it now!” But we know that’s not how it works. In fact, it would seem that when we pray for patience, instead of being given patience, we are given opportunities to exercise patience (i.e. trial, difficulty, struggle). And, are we any different than those in the pages of Scripture? Think of the handful of characters (including Jesus) who have most influenced your thinking. Now… ask yourself one simple question, “In what way(s) was their life challenged to include patience? I think – to a person – you will find that all of them were forced to slow down and wait or trust and obey when they could not see the beginning from the end. That is where and how patience most often meets us.
Finally… I just finished a Monday that was very un-Monday-like. I believe it had everything to do with what you’re reading right now. As I have written about this subject for the last 48 hours or so, I have been reminded of my need to pause and reflect… and wait. I’ll be honest and admit that my patience quotient is still miserably low, but I am learning to keep calm and trust Jesus… that’s what patience is all about.