patience is a virtue…
and a virtue is a grace, and grace is a little girl who didn’t wash her face
This childish rhyme is a permanent fixture in my head whenever I start thinking about patience. It makes me smile because I cannot remember how I learned it or when, like so much of what makes up our thinking, we just seem to absorb things like this along the road of life.
Yesterday I seemed to have a number of challenging people to deal with. I cannot recall all I said in my dealings, however I do know that by midday I was unproductive and tired out. Does patience mean I didn’t hurt anyone?
We often tell people to be patient, but I am not sure what we mean. For me, it meant that I to make sure that the boundaries I had drawn remained firm, that I did not give in to nagging, cajoling and other tactics…and I had to do it without causing harm. Sometimes it means just walking away, or keeping firmly quiet. However we exercise it, patience is one virtue that will cause us to know we have been better people for using it, but will also leave us exhausted. It is tiring exercising patience.
I wonder what you do when pressed by others? What does patience look like in your world? Today I watched a number of interviews with refugees and as I listened to their stories I realised that so many of them are living patiently, waiting for a better world. In camps in foreign countries, without rights or freedom, they wait with patience for the free world to open the door for them. For them patience is the difference between madness and sanity, they can DO nothing to change their situation, they have done all they could, and now the decisions lie with bureaucrats and others in governments far away, where there is no hunger or persecution. Perhaps the use of my patience yesterday was not so trying after all?
If you want to help, ask your government to take more refugees, volunteer at agencies in your city and contact your friends to pray…