“All human wisdom is summed up in two words – wait and hope”
So! Guess what I’ve been thinking about lately? Yep, that’s right. Patience.
I’ll just cut to the chase. What exactly is patience? From my limited experience, I’ve found that there might be 2 kinds of ‘patience’: ‘people’ patience, and ‘things’ patience.
People patience can be described best in my father. You know the saying “He has the patience of Job?” Yep. My dad embodies that saying. (Although I don’t understand the etymology of that phrase. Why on earth do people say Job was patient? Has anybody actually read Job? He wasn’t that patient. At all. But I digress.)
You know what people patience is. Patience when you tell someone for the 47th time to take out the trash. Patience with someone when, no matter how hard they’re trying, they just can’t seem to get what the heck polynomials are. Being patient with someone *coughcoughMEcoughcough* is complaining about what so-and-so did last week that wasn’t so sensitive…
For some, people patience is easier for them than others. Those who know me well might say I have good people patience. Ha. They don’t hear all the mental ranting I do. But I’m still thankful for their comments. 😀
Anyway! Then there’s ‘things’ patience. Patience while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. While you’re waiting for you sister to get of the stupid phone that she’s been yaking on for OVER AN HOUR. Patience while you’re waiting for the new, absolutely-amazing-awesome-beyond-words, Skillet CD to FINALLY grace the Best Buy shelves…. *innocent look* 😉
Things patience constitute as patience while you wait for something to happen. Like the microwave to beep. Or the Baby Ruth bar to fall ever so slowly from the metal clutches of the vending machine. Or, if you’re like me, waiting in agony for, I don’t know, 26 seconds, as you wait for your crush to respond to one of your texts… *nervous chuckle*
It’s waiting for Christmas. Birthdays. The weekend. When Mom can get out of the shower. You get what I mean.
Bless my father, although he has good people patience, he has horrible things patience. A great example of this can be seen when we’re watching a DVD, for I have control of the DVD remote!! Muahahaha!!
Picture this: Dad and I are in the den, Dad sitting in his chair, and I sitting on the green leather sofa. A lamp and endtable is between said pieces of furniture. The TV is blinking as the DVD loads. The FBI warning label is filling the screen.
Dad: *as he waves his hands dramatically* “Can you make this go faster?”
Me: *sigh* “No, Dad, I can’t make it go faster. You’re gonna have to (insert gasp) sit through this part.”
Dad: “But I thought you figured out how to make it go faster!”
Me: “Just because I can make it go faster doesn’t mean I should make it go faster. We’re learning patience, remember?”
The anti-piracy label fills the screen.
Dad: “But we’ve already seen this! We don’t need to see it again.”
Me: “So? It’s only for 30 seconds! Look, the menu is already coming up.”
I press the Play button. Then press the Captions button. Scroll through to English captions. The opening credits fill the screen.
Dad: “Make the credits go away! Let’s get to the action!”
Me: *while staring incredulously at Dad* “But I want to see who’s stars in this movie!”
Opening music plays in the background
Dad: “You already know who stars in this movie! You’re you, remember?”
Dad’s eyebrows rise. Music gets louder
Me: *tilts head* “… true. But we had to sit through this at the theater, so we can sit through it here.
Dad: “But nothing happens here! This doesn’t add to the story! Get to the action!”
Me: *shakes head at guy logic* “You don’t know that! Something could happen in the opening credits. Remember True Lies? Or The Score? Or Deja Vu?
You can see where this is going. By the time we get to the end of this discussion (aka, Dad has ‘conceded’ to the fact that, yes, he needs to learn patience, by getting quiet), the credits are already over and the action has begun.
There. You can see that Dad has no things patience. While I apparently do. At least when it comes to movies. (I personally don’t believe I have things patience. I get all antsy and annoyed if someone doesn’t respond to my IMs within 30 seconds…)
So. If those are two kinds of patience (remember, this is just the definition I’m working with. I can be wrong), then how does God expect us to be patient? Which patience are we talking about? While searching for the answer, I came across references like this:
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” ~ Psalm 40:1.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense.” ~ Proverbs 19:11.
“I waited patiently till dawn, but like a lion he broke all my bones; day and night you made an end of me.” ~ Isaiah 38:13.
“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ ” ~ Matthew 18:26.
“What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction?” ~ Romans 9:22.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” ~ 1 Cor. 13:4.
… I could go on and on. What I’ve gathered from those references is that 1). People patience is tied in with love. If the 2nd greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself, would you want someone else to be patient with you? Of course. So being patient with others is, in a way, loving others.
2). Having ‘things’ patience, as in waiting for something to happen, is a form of submission and trust in God’s sovereignty. If you’re like me, waiting patiently for ‘The One’ *insert ominious voice* is a battle of patience every single day. I have to step back and go “Okay, God. I know You have this under control. I am going to be patient. Pining for this to happen is not gonna make it come any sooner.”
This philosophy of course applies to smaller things, like waiting for the Skillet CD to come out, or for Christmas to finally arrive. Complaining every day for it to come faster will not make it come faster. In fact, it only exaserbates the problem. Complaining about something is just a waste of your time and is annoying for anyone you’re complaining about it to. And that’s not loving, is it? *glares* 😉
And 3). We need both of these. I can’t use this as an excuse anymore. “Well, I’m sorta patient with people, so I don’t have to be patient about graduation, right?” Or “Well, I didn’t say a word about that new book coming out. So I’m not that bad if I blow up at so-and-so. Right?” No.
So, where does that leave us? Well, the question that I’ve been asking myself is this: How long?
Isn’t that the question we all ask? “You have to wait for your birthday to come for that.” We then immediately calculate, to the day, how long it is till the birthday. Or “You have to babysit your brother” We then think about how many minutes exactly it’ll be till the parents get home. So we can answer the question of how long?
Then, of course, you have the biggie question. How long are you willing to wait for ‘The One’?
When you ask those question, what is your response? You might find that the answers aren’t as pretty as you would like.
P.S. I make a new blogging law! If you’ve read up to this point in the post, you are now, and forevermore, under both the social and moral obligation to REPLY to this and subsequent posts. I really like knowing that someone is actually reading this stuff. I don’t care if I don’t know you from Adam. Say whatever the heck is on your mind! Posting=discussion. Even if you’re thinking “I like cheese”, comment! *glares at Max.* 😉 Seriously. If you did post something like that, I’ll laugh. And that’ll make my day. 😀 😀 😀
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” ~ Psalm 37:7.