"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Passing on Patience

My life has been so very full of peace for the past few months. My job holds peace. My home holds peace. And, even at my church, I feel a sense of peace. It was not necessarily any particular situation or circumstance that changed things except for my perception and attitude in my prayers. I stopped asking God to change people, places, and things, and begin to ask Him to give me the same patience with others that He has with me. I know what you are thinking.....I can never have the patience of our Father because that would make me perfect. And, you are exactly right. I will never totally have the patience of our Father or His Son, but in asking for it, this shows that I want to strive to be more like Jesus, which is what we should be doing as we grow spiritually.

Patience is spoken about all throughout the Bible. Patience is spoken about in terms of waiting on something, patience is spoken of in terms of having patience with others, patience is spoken of in a time for suffering, patience is spoken of in terms of growth, patience is spoken of as a character that demonstrates discipline, the learning process of patience is spoken of, and even showing patience as a symbol of submission to divine wisdom. I'm sure if I kept searching the scriptures, I would find several more terms in which patience is spoken of. Patience is a multiple meaning word and can be both a noun and a verb. Patience can be spoken of as an idea which is a noun, or can be practiced as an act, which is a verb. Whatever the case, in this life on earth, patience is a MUST!

Now, those in my inner circle know and can tell you that I have never been one of great patience; far from that concept to be exact. But, in growing older, and in growing spiritually, I have learned that patience must be practiced in order to show that Christ resides within me. The patience that I speak of tonight is having patience with others.

I thought about some times in which my patience was thin with others. I ask God to help show me when I have become instantly impatient and easily irritated by others and have allowed my actions to show something other than Christ. I was really embarrassed by what God revealed to me. I had a long list of people and things that made me impatient. However, when I finished thinking about that list, I had to create a list of things that I did that may have made others impatient with me. I was surprised to see that many of the things that others do that irritate me; I do or have done to others also. So, who am I to be irritated with them? God reminds me that no being is perfect, and that most are striving to be the best person that they can be. My best is not your best, and your best is not my best. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, so we should not get irritated with others so easily. Sometimes we expect things out of others that we are unable to produce ourselves.

I thank God for my intelligent children. Being an educator, I am able to recognize the academic strengths and weaknesses that my children possess at this time. My son is such a logical thinker. He is wonderful with numbers and loves science. Those in the world of education know that these are typically the strengths of boys. I was working on reading skills with my son one night and became so very frustrated with him because it is the teacher in me, not the mother, which knows that he could be reading right now. In my mind it would be so simple for him to just read a short book because he knows some sight words and has been blending sounds for over a year. My patience begin to wear thin with him because I wanted what I wanted for him and was not reading his cues that while he possesses the skills, his interest in reading independently just isn't there yet. I thought about everything that could possibly be an issue with him, but never thought about the fact that I was not being patient with him. I wanted him to do what I wanted him to do right now! He is only four and there are many other things that he is interested in exploring. God showed me that it was me who needed to change and not my son at all. It was at this point when I begin to examine and assess my level of patience that I have with others.

Simply asking for the patience of God has also changed my attitude and outlook on life. I have more peace, less stress, and less drama. I am not consumed by what others are not doing, or have not failed to do, but what I am doing and am striving to do. This is still a growing process for me. I wish I could say that I never get frustrated at the slow moving car in front of me, or the clerk at the store that totals my purchases incorrectly, but when I do, I react differently. I try to remember that no one is perfect that that someone may have had to show patience towards me that day and I may have not even known it. I try to think about the possibility that the slowing moving car may be someone who is handicapped or elderly. I try to think that the cashier may have children to feed and have worked a twelve hour shift today.

This post is just something to think about.....how we can be more like Christ and enjoy this abundant life!

God Bless You!!!

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