Sunday, November 11, 2007

On Patience

I am not a patient person. Actually, when my spiritual director asked me to go home and think of a virtue I wanted to work on, it only took a minute of thought before I knew I needed to work on patience. It's strange actually. I can be very patient when I'm dealing with a large issue, like when you can tell someone really didn't want to tell you something, but they needed to, so they did. You know the what happens. A person comes to you, and you can tell they are very nervous to tell you whatever it is. Yeah, I can be very patient then.

But on everyday little things, I have no patience. Like watching someone on the computer. They are clicking along just fine to get to a particular thing you want to show them, but you know there is a faster way, and...well...they just aren't doing it the way you would do it. Or when...well, anytime someone is not doing something exactly the way you would do it. Even if the way they are doing it is right too. But it's not your way. Hmmm...I wonder if this is the way God thinks about us sometimes. Just a thought.

My dear husband was out working on his truck yesterday. (Don't worry these two things will make sense in a minute). It's a hobby of his. The truck is a '73 Ford we call Oscar, because he's green and kind of grouchy. Where was I? Oh yes...he was working on his truck, trying to get some hose off or something. This particular hose was not coming off easily like he expected, and he could feel himself starting to get frustrated. So he told himself if he hurried the job along, he would have no fun doing it, and it may not turn out as good as it could have. And then he prayed for patience.

When he came in, he told me this story (as he washed his hands and dried them on a towel I wouldn't have used). He said that after he prayed for patience, he calmed down and then the hose came off pretty quickly and he was able to get the job done in a reasonable time, with little stress.

At first, I only gave this story a small thought. Like, "My husband is really a very good man". But this morning, as I was cleaning the counters and DH was off to mass, (Fritter is still sick, so we're going in shifts today) I was saying a little prayer for God to help me be patient today (yesterday was really a bad day). This story came into my head and I realized that it's not just recognizing the opportunities to be patient when they arise. I'm very good at that, it's putting patience into action that's hard. It's also about asking God for help at the moment you need it.

I have always known that we alone can do nothing, but that IN CHRIST we can do anything. We pray for patience, God gives us opportunities to be patient, and then we pray for help to be patient. Why didn't I put these concepts together? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it was Wormwood messing with me again. Scary thought.

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