Have Patience

30 Jan

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”  ~  Moliere

If there is one thing that most, if not all, of us lack, it is patience.  We do not have a lot of patience with others and we do not have a lot of patience with ourselves.  When we want something to happen, we want it to happen now.  When we want to see a change in others, we want to see that change materialize right away.  If we want to see improvements in ourselves, we want those improvements to happen immediately.  How many times have we given up on diets and other self-improvement matters because we did not realize immediate results?

Yet, over and over again, we see evidence that patience is crucial for the vast majority of things in life.  If we want to grow food in a backyard garden, we cannot plant seeds one day and expect a harvest the next.  No.  Instead, we must cultivate the soil.  We must weed around the plants as they grow.  We must provide water and other nutrients.  Only after a matter of time will we realize a harvest.  The more patience we put into our project — and, therefore, the more time — the better the yield.

I think I could get most everyone who reads this reflection to agree with what I have stated thus far, couldn’t I?  I don’t think anyone would object to what I’ve written.  It seems pretty plain.  Well, if the aforementioned is, indeed, the case and we accept it as fact, then why are we impatient with ourselves?  Why do we expect immediate change?  If we want to have a bodybuilder physique, that will not happen overnight.  Just so, if we want to have a deeper spiritual life, that will not happen overnight.

Why can’t I trust God more?  Why can’t I pray more?  Why can’t my prayer life be deeper?  These questions, and others, are often posed to ourselves because we began to work on them the day before or the week before.  We somehow expect intention and hope to equal reality.  But, if we want a deeper prayer life, it will take time to build.  If we want to trust God more, we have to let go of our own attempts to control our lives on a more regular basis.

Patience is a virtue.  We have heard that said since we were quite young.  Yes.  Patience is a virtue and possibly one of the least practiced virtues.  Have patience with yourself.  Have patience with others.  Have patience with God.  When we exercise more patience, we will find more peace in our lives.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God to give you the patience that you need with others and with yourself today.