Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I know it has been a few days since I have posted here, but life has been crazy of late. I have started a new job, I have been involved with a softball tournament that has taken up most of my nights this week, and I have been suffering with a crisis of conscience on where to go next with this job. It has been quite overwhelming, but in the brief moment of peace that I was able to grab today, and through what I have been praying about lately I feel led in a direction to write, at least for tonight. That direction is a treatise on patience.

I say patience because lately that has been an issue for me, especially with this new job. When I started it I knew it was only going to be a temporary position, but there was a chance for it to grow into something more. At the very least it was a 3-4 month guaranteed assignment, and with a great company. Since I have started I have been ambushed with a shift change that I was not told about and the actual responsibilities are quite repetitive and dull. It is still an organization I have wanted to work for since moving to Indianapolis, and I view it as a chance to get my foot in the door.

Because of the sudden changes though I quickly became disgruntled with the job and began to wonder what it could accomplish aside from being the next in a long line of pointless jobs that took me nowhere. I was worried about how I was going to accomplish what I wanted accomplish not only professionally, but personally. Such mundane things as finding time to write or simply relax bothered me because this job was not working with my schedule. I would have to work with its schedule. Obviously, this is a lack of patience on my part, and is merely a continuation of a sad trend in my life when I expect instant results and change.

    "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly." – Proverbs 14:29

In today's society we are inundated with distractions that do not allow for patience. We have grown to not want to wait for anything and we expect results instantly. If we don't get our way, and right this second, we quickly become angry. This is a relatively new phenomenon, as never before in history has life been made so easy as it is now for modern amenities. We have forgotten the value the above verse in Proverbs, and I have long been guilty of it myself.

What happens when we don't practice patience? Well, for starters we don't appreciate what we have, and that is what I found myself doing this afternoon as I was driving home. I had gone a few months without a secure job, taking what little writing work I could find just to make ends meet. Now I was upset because this new job, which is the best paying job I have had in some time, wasn't perfect? I admit, I feel like a heel for thinking this way, but all of it came from a lack of patience. I had forgotten the key verse I had written about from the book of James.

    "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." – James 1:4

How was I exercising perseverance in this situation? The simple answer is that I was not. Instead of sitting by and learning the lesson that God wants me to learn in this situation I was forcing the issue and this is one of several areas where I have not been listening. I have been trying to find what God wants for me and what he wants me to do next without completing the current step in front of me. There is a lesson to be learned in everything, and when we don't stop to listen to what God is saying then we won't learn it. As I talked about in the entry on Silence as a spiritual discipline, sometimes God wants to simply be with Him, while other times we have to quiet our minds from our own desires in order to hear what He wants for us.

    "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." – Hebrews 6:12

Patience is a lot like walking a tightrope of doing what God wants for you while waiting for him to deliver. What makes matters even more interesting is that fact that patience can only be gained through hardship. Have you ever prayed for patience and immediately found yourself in a situation where it is tested? That is God trying to teach you patience. It takes work to be a patient man, and it also takes faith. Patience and faith go hand in hand, because faith means trusting God and being patient for Him to deliver.

"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

Patience has so many positive virtues. Patience shows growth. Patience shows faith. Patience shows wisdom and understanding. Patience shows the ability to show calm when we don't understand what is going on or why God is putting us through a trial. Patience shows a willingness to be submissive before the Lord and learn. Patience shows strength of character. Unfortunately it is not something can easily be taught. We all have to learn patience in our own ways, and right now my way involves seeing the positive of what I have been given and learning to appreciate the journey instead of remaining solely focused on the destination. I am not where I want to be, but I am on the way there.

Fortunately for us God is infinitely patient, and infinitely loving.


  1. What trials have you endured that have taught you the value of patience?
  2. How do you think faith plays a role in growing patience?
  3. From our recent discussion of spiritual disciplines, how do they play a role in being patient?

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