Patiently Wait

Patiently Wait

by Katrina Goodrich

 

When I was a little girl, I used to wake up early Saturday morning before everyone else. In order to keep me from waking up everyone else in the house

(I was not quiet as a child either) and to keep me out of the way while they were getting ready, my parents told me I could go downstairs and choose a video to watch. I didn’t even need to ask! There was a video series I frequently chose called “Quigley’s Village.” The plot involved a man with his friends and pets (who were puppets) learning about God from Bible stories and life experiences. On one episode they sang a song entitled “Patiently Wait.” The song is my most vivid memory about the episode. As you may have guessed, I remember that episode was about learning patience. I was probably 3 or 4 at the time when I began this process of learning patience and at 25 I’m still working on it.

Patience is defined as the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocations without becoming annoyed or upset, and to persevere calmly when faced with difficulty. Patience is also defined as a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Just because patience is a fruit of the Spirit doesn’t mean that all of a sudden when you accept Christ you become a paragon of patience. In some instances the Spirit may intervene and bless you with a supernatural patience for a season, but often that is not how it works.

Practice makes patience. Just as with literal fruit you begin with a seed. You must nurture and grow it before you can reap it. So it is with patience. It takes time and intentional practice to be able to exercise it daily. Many times we miss or neglect the opportunity. There is no denying the fact that we live in a fast paced world. Everything is at our fingertips and the prevalent attitude is that waiting is a waste of time. And time is a precious and valuable non-renewable commodity. This attitude does not cast patience in a positive light because waiting wastes time that would be better spent in a dozen different ways. Patience is not a cultural value.

I find myself regressing in this sort of environment.

I work in what is, for the most part, a fast paced environment. Those who are quick and efficient with problem solving skills tend to do well. Others who lag behind tend to feel a little like dead weight. And I get annoyed because there is only so much time in a day and a whole list of things that need to be done. That is the definition of losing patience. And realizing how often I’ve been losing patience lately, rather than building it up, makes me feel chagrined.

It turns out a little patience goes a long way. The more I use it the less annoyed I become at those around me. It’s time to start practicing what I preach and build others up instead of breaking them with my impatience. But that doesn’t mean I am just going to sit back and let things be. I chose to practice active patience where I am able. What can I do to improve the situation instead of getting annoyed and upset? I can be a catalyst for what needs to happen by realizing and accepting that things may still take longer than I want.

Every time I think about patience a little song plays in the back of my head. Patiently wait — and I am going to start listening.

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