Kiersti Plog is my writer buddy, my critique partner, my prayer partner … my friend.
She’s always sparking me to think about important stuff that, well, I don’t want to think about at the moment. Like peace, reconciliation, and patience. It seems as soon as I formulate a response, Kiersti has already moved on to another topic. These days, I just can’t seem to keep up.
Maybe that’s why I’ve learned to appreciate patience—with myself and others—because quite frankly, I don’t have a choice.
I move in circles where everybody has special needs. I’m not talking about those who are physically or mentally challenged. I’m referring to people like the man who gave me the birdie on Friday, rolled down his window, and just started yelling at me for no apparent reason. My not engaging him seemed to fuel his fire. I’m not sure what the matter was. We were both stuck in traffic. Maybe, I’d been driving too slowly when he needed to get somewhere fast.
When God seems to be taking His time, is that the response we give Him?
Kiersti spoke about God’s slowness in her blog and gave lots of great spiritual examples of waiting. I won’t do that here. I’m gonna write from the lens of impatience and what that looks like to me.
Put simply, patience is waiting well. It’s having the proper behavior and attitude while we wait. Impatience is the opposite.
Interestingly, some people brag about their impatience—“Patience is not my thing. I don’t have time to wait, I’ll never pray for patience.” I’m curious as to why these same people don’t take pride in being anxious, fearful, uncertain or insecure. Aren’t these the underlying causes of impatience in the first place? Or why not boast about being rude, mean, a complainer, or an aggressive bully? Surely, these are a few of the traits that impatience breeds. People don’t seem to mind admitting impatience, but claiming the symptoms and associated behaviors of not waiting well is another story.
Let’s face it, the temper tantrums of a two-year old are barely tolerable, but often pale in comparison to that of an adult. To hear grown folk pout and complain when they can’t get their way immediately is plain ole embarrassing. At some point, we ought to be mature enough to accept the fact that sometimes, we just have to wait. If that’s the case, then let’s be wise enough to learn how to wait well. What do you think?