by Thomas A. Stobie, S.F.O.
Read and pause often to think about what is mentioned as it applies to your life.
Meditation on Patience - Waiting in Holiness
In our lives, we often experience the need to wait until something happens, whether it is an event beginning, food cooking, a person arriving, a particular calendar day, etc. These are things that our outside of our control and in many cases have little or no influence on when they occur. How we handle these waits shows us what our patience is like and how holy it is.
If we have to wait for something outside of our control, we can wait patiently or let it get us upset. Signs that we are impatient include cursing, excessively bringing the wait up in conversations to others, treating others abruptly or rudely, acting violently towards the things around us, and putting down the thing or person for whom we are waiting.
Sometimes, we have control over the wait, such as when we fast, when we choose what will we do or not do and when we will do it. We might be doing the wait because someone asked us to or because we decided to. Here the wait is usually for our own good and is a result of our free choice.
Sometimes, waiting is not prudent, like staying in a burning building, when we can easily reach the exit. In cases, like this, waiting is not being patient, it is being foolish.
Often tasks require us to perform an action and wait for responses before acting again. We do what we can when we can and wait patiently until we can act again. Impatience will often make resuming the task more difficult or make the results of lower quality than they could have been.
God can work in us and those around us better when we are patient. Are we willing to let Him? Or must He work in our time, under our direction and control? We are better off it we just surrender and let Him do as He wishes, when He wishes.
In our creative works, do we let God work through us patiently or do we demand ourselves to get it done quickly? Creativity and inspiration can occur rapidly, but usely work through the patient use of our gifts.
Patience involves not making ourselves so important that every moment of our time is worth more than anyone else's time or doing something right. This can also apply to our dealings with God.
Patience involves being calm about the waits we endure and respecting those around us and ourselves during these waits.
Patience is a way of life, showing our love in how we treat ourselves and others. Like any way of life, patience has to be practiced for us to become more patient. If we want to become more patient, we must take active steps, that is (1) choosing to be more patient, (2) keeping this resolution in mind, (3) being patient with ourselves and others, and (4) catching ourselves when we are impatient so that we can be more aware of our patience and impatience in the future.
O Most Patient & Loving God,
You treat us with loving patience all the time even when we behave not as we should. You understand that we need to grow in love and wisdom and forgive us our faults when we ask.
Grant us the gift of Patience. Help us to understand when waiting is the right thing to do and help us to do so with calm holy patience, loving those around us and on whom we wait. Help us to understand the right balance of waiting and action in all that we do.
Thank You, Lord, for the patient people in our lives, treating us with respect and love, those whom we know and the strangers we do not. Bless them, Lord, for their patience.
Help us to see You, Lord, in everyone around us and in ourselves, seeing all as worthy of respect and love, not putting ourselves and our time above others and their time.
When we chose to be Patient, we are choosing to live in imitation of You, Dear God. Grant that we may grow in love and patience each day.
Meditation by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO © 2002. Permission granted to copy for personal use.
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Last Modified 6 Nov 2008.