Challenged by Patience

“Love is patient, love is …”

During four of the previous five days, THAT came into my hearing through means of books, radio and personal conversations.  By Thursday, I no longer responded with immediate alarm but simply had to chuckle, for I knew there was a message in it TO me.  Now I am putting that message in written form, publicly exposed, the purpose of which is FOR me.  I live in a self-centered world, do I not?  Being self-centered is perhaps the biggest handicap of all, the greatest crippler of life.

“As Jacob had found long ago, it is tough to wrestle the Lord God.”

Being aware that it is no coincidence that patience is being repeatedly brought to my attention in rapid succession, thoughts have been roaming into the challenge of patience.  Searching memories of recent exchanges with people of patience, common characteristics and behaviours created a subconscious list with a subset of questions.  “How is humility related to patience?”  “How does the lack of humility display itself through impatient acts?”  “What is the source of impatience?”  Pride was the immediate answer to that last question, which led to another mental comparison/contrast of humility and pride. Ideas of control, cynicism, guardedness, aggressiveness and anger ran rampant much like a wild fox in a henhouse.

Now mind you, all these mental discussions have been conducted while reading Patience of a Saint, by Andrew M. Greeley.  I finished the book within the last hour.

In addition, all these mental discussions have been conducted while:

  • driving to the big city in 100 degree temperatures on a Friday at 4 PM to collect a car that had been in the repair shop. 
  • returning to our suburb to sit in jammed traffic due to a disabled vehicle in the middle of one of our two four-lane highways around 6 PM.
  • shopping the local mall for an item that had to be purchased at that moment mostly because the item had moved from the “want” list to the “need” list and it was now on sale and then traipsing to another store for everything that was needed to go with the sale item, all the while being hot, dizzy and in pain in all probability from having not eaten in the last seven hours.
  • waking up to realize items purchased last night will be returned shortly.
  • answering telemarketing/research phone calls in a fashion that will make the caller on the other end not only regret interrupting my day but also leading them to quickly hang up on me.

Now mind you, all these mental discussions have been conducted while reading Patience of a Saint, going about activities of daily living and recalling the dastardly thing I did about this time last week.  I let down a friend.  I lost my nerve and jumped at the first excuse to cop out.  Ironically, when thoughts were roaming into the challenge of patience, searching memories of recent exchanges with people of patience, my friend was one that immediately came to mind.

“How is humility related to patience?”  “How does the lack of humility display itself through impatient acts?”  “What is the source of impatience?”  Pride was the immediate answer to that last question.  Being self-centered is perhaps the biggest handicap of all, the greatest crippler of life.  It also makes it difficult to end a conversation with, “I love you.”   

Wait!  The phone is ringing.  Ahhhh, now I’m off to go play with my favorite 2-year-old.  Another episode in the challenge of patience?

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2 thoughts on “Challenged by Patience

  1. Debbie,
    I can relate!!! I understand entirely how you feel about patience and its relation to love, or, rather, being prideful or self-centered. One of my best friend’s from University oft told me that I could “do with a little less of that [pride]”. Indeed it is a handicap, because I do find it difficult, even now, to end a conversation with “I love you.” I suppose patience takes practice? A cycle and a veritable challenge for us to overcome.

    -H

    Like

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