In my prayer life with my friend Jesus, I’ve discovered a tricky thing. If you ask for something (like grace) you get something (like annoyances). So, as I prepared to write for 31 days (!!) on patience, I hesitated in asking for His help with being patient. I know that’s a terrible thing to say, but I was afraid of what obstacles would be placed down to hurdle. I consider myself a writer, but I’ve never challenged myself to stick to a regular schedule on the blog. Or really, with any thing I write. This month will be hard, but I know that as my eyes open to the little graces around me, the areas where I can have more patience, I’ll grow and even learn to appreciate the moments of hardships.
Today’s patience? Patience in the waiting.
We wait for a lot of things in this world. We beg or bargain for faster time, we tick days and minutes off the calendar, we see others who have what we want and we think HEY that’s for me, that’s what I need now. Very Veruca Salt-esque. I have friends who are getting married, getting promoted, getting homes that actually have more than one room involved. I have peers who are succeeding in their own business, or creating something useful in this world. Looking around at what they all have creates the tendency to hold a very broken mirror up to your own life.
Yes, all of these things are something I want but God makes everything beautiful in his time. His time, not mine. And lately, every morning I have to wake up and say “Yes, I know. Not mine to plan, not mine to solve. Remind me it’s Yours.” On one hand, it’s nice to relinquish the feeling of control. On the other, it’s sometimes defeating to realize you don’t get what you want when you want it. Maybe we never grow up. We are His children after all, and very often I find myself in a 6-year-old-level tantrum.
Naturally, as I have been involved in my best friend’s wedding this weekend my lack of patience in my own life sharpened. And naturally, God placed a few signs in front of me before the day came to say “slow. down. look at the beauty in this day. none of the others.” The wedding this weekend was one of the more beautiful things I’ve witnessed on this earth. Not only were the flowers, dresses and vows beautiful and enchanting, the sunset was hand-painted with clouds, and reds, purples, oranges, blacks and greys. Trust me, everyone stopped to look at it. Especially me.
Another thing that spoke to me, both personally and in light of the 31 days series, was this prayer by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown,
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
by passing through some stages of instability
and that may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow.
Let them shape themselves without undue haste.
Do not try to force them on
as though you could be today what time
— that is to say, grace —
acting on your own good will
will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new Spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
our loving vine-dresser.
So, as I continue on this 31-day journey in the world of patience, I am anxious to see what I uncover. October is usually my very favorite month. I’m excited for this challenge!
How do you sharpen your patience in times of hardship? Leave a comment and let me know.
See you tomorrow.