Being Patient in 2015

“Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand” (Henri Nouwen).

Patience is easy in theory and much harder in practice. As the old saying goes, you never pray for patience unless you want what little patience you possess to be severely tested. Or in my case, you find out how completely impatient you are.

I do think that patience is not passively waiting. It means you prepare yourself for the future God has in store for you.

That means you confess any sin that might hinder the work of God in your life and you stay daily surrendered to whatever God calls you to and to whoever He calls you to be.

I still suck both at patience and at waiting. Blame it on my ADD. Blame it on my passive nature. I wish I could say that at this point in my life that I’ve mastered these two disciplines. I haven’t.

But I also believe that even when I pray “Lord, I want to believe. Help my unbelief,” even that mustard-size faith– so small it barely registers as faith at all– can move mountains and change the world. It can change my world.

It has never been about big faith in God, or I’d be totally screwed. It’s about faith in a big God who can take the tiniest beginnings of faith and trust and work wonders with those.

Lord, as always, I believe. I want to believe. I try to believe. Help my unbelief.

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