Patience

Being Patient Comes from a Flexible Mind and Common Sense

Ed, my neighbor next door, tends to be pretty relaxed about time. He has been five or ten minutes late, for more than a few appointments. Ed considers that nothing really needs to start right, on time, unless it is a ceremony where a person is being given a million dollar lottery cheque. “I took my own sweet time to be born, and there is no need to be in a rush in my life now,” Ed often says. Ruby, his wife, says that Ed comes from a family of slow movers. They are all slow doing anything except eating. Ed says that he is the most patient person that he knows. Ed says in his own words “I have a flexible mind and more common sense, than I need, and that is what makes me a patient person,”

I asked Ed if his wife Ruby also sees him as a patient person. He said without hesitation. “Not on your life. She claims I’m impatient when driving, impatient when shopping, and impatient about anything that I don’t want to do, like visiting hospitals and nursing homes.” I guess it is a toss up as to whether Ed is patient or not. He says he is, and Ruby says he isn’t. I do think Ed is patient with himself that is he doesn’t criticize himself, a lot, or blame himself for what he might have done. It has been my experience that Ed has been real impatient towards preachers, politicians, bankers, every level of government and anyone who doesn’t agree with him. Mind you, this is not absolute fact, just what I have observed.

I do know I’m not nearly as patient as I would like to be. I do have my patient moments, but, there are also times when I’m impatiently acting out in frustration. There is no law against being patient or any of the other character traits that God wants us to develop as Christians. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

In reality, each trait has a powerful alternative; will it be love or hate; joy or grumpiness; patience or impatience; kindness or meanness, goodness or evil; faithfulness or faithlessness; gentleness or aggression, self-control or no control. Not only do these traits come with negative opposites, we may do our best to limit how much love, patience, kindness etc. we are willing display. Sadly, many are not convinced that the world would be improved if, everyone, became more loving, more joyous, more peaceful, more patient. Are more goodness, more faithfulness, more gentleness, and more self-control really needed? Hating, grumbling, fighting, acting in impatience, being bad, faithless, aggressive, and without any self-control, often, suits folks as a better response to life.

In 2014, will we add a more positive or a more negative flavor, to our own life and the lives of others? Most folks would prefer to be treated with love, rather than criticism. We need to treat others as we would like to be treated. The more we offer to others; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control; the more they will return them to us and make 2014 a good year for all.

 

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Raymond Maher
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