Someone has said that patience is a virtue - and I suppose they are right, provided one agrees that patience is a good thing. Let me explain.
In the midst of my busy work week recently, I took the truck into the Ford garage for some routine maintenance. As usual, they let me set up my laptop computer at a vacant desk so I could study and write - I always have sermons, Bible studies and newspaper articles that need to be developed and written while waiting for my truck.
And even though the telephone rings incessantly, and the music is rather loud on a regular basis, I'm usually able to concentrate on what needs to be done.
When it comes to waiting for the truck to be finished, though, I'm always left wondering, waiting and hoping that: 1) the service will be done quickly, and 2) the work will be thorough and first-rate! Yes, "Patience, my friend," is a quality that many of us lack.
So what do "patience-deprived" people do to become more patient? Is there some kind of formula for becoming more patient with the world? I can only tell you what I do to grow in my ability to wait carefully (and I'm no expert).
Firstly, I pray for patience every day in my morning prayers. Yes, when I get to my own name on my prayer list, I pray for God to teach me patience and wisdom in every situation.
Wisdom helps me stop and think carefully, which leads to understanding that 1) I might as well wait because I cannot control the timing of an event, 2) God truly helps me to understand the value of waiting, and 3) I get other things done while I am waiting. In the end, I have learned that patience is a virtue, indeed!
So how are you doing with your patience quotient these days? If someone were to measure your ability to wait, what would they find? Perhaps you would have more peace of mind in your life and a healthier nervous system if you decided to grow in your ability to wait.
I'll see you in church, the grocery store, or around town.
You can e-mail Pastor Michael by visiting www.stjohnsumc.com.