Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Patience should be a four-letter word...

Image borrowed from Ironic Catholic (2007)

Would you mind waiting...just a minute, please...Can I get back to you on that...? Hold your horses...Can you hold just a moment...?

These are all vulgar phrases to me! I do not wait well, patiently, or otherwise. I mean, how long is "just a moment" anyway? But, it seems I find myself in this very position more often than not. I have to stand in line at the grocery store. I have to wait during phone calls - just to be transferred to a live person that will put me on hold. I have to wait in line at the women's restroom. I have to wait at traffic lights and while people cross the road in front of me...

Patience is a lost virtue and it is certainly not one I have ever claimed. For pete's sake, we now live in a "I want it and I can have it now" world. We have high-speed internet that delivers news to us almost as quickly as it happens. We have a TV where we can watch three or four channels at one time. We have a DVR so we don't have to miss a thing or wait through the commercials. We have phones we carry with us everywhere; and, I do mean everywhere - just so we don't run the chance of missing something - like, you know, a call from the President. And, we have credit cards. And, we all know how those things are patience wreckers.

Is it any wonder that patience is not one of my virtues?

I have recently noticed the Bible is chock full of stories about waiting? It is as if the entire theme of the Old Testament is about patience and God seemingly putting his people "on hold" or in "time out". I'm sure you are familiar with the stories. There are many others and these are just a few: Abraham and Sarah didn't have a baby until they were both very old. The Hebrew people had to wander in the desert for 40 years. It's in the New Testament, too - Mary and Martha had to endure an agonizing wait for Jesus when Lazarus was dying. And, don't forget, the entire book is a lesson in anticipation.

I have been without a job now for eight weeks. It seems impossible that this time has gone so quickly. I have been diligent in my job search and have had two really great interviews. And, now, I am waiting for answers - waiting on someone else to decide my future based on their own needs. Remember that control thing I wrote about a few blogs back - I like to have it and I don't do so well if I have to ride instead of drive? Well, here I am - in the passenger seat. It's hard.

However, I have learned a few things. I know that God is faithful. I have learned that whenever He has instructed us to wait it is for a good reason. I have learned that scripture tells us over and over again that each time God instructed someone to wait that, when the waiting was over, He always fulfilled the promises He made to them. And, I know that one of the hardest lessons I am learning is to "Be Still and Know that I am God."

Today I am claiming the words to this song as my own desire. It is based on Psalm 46:10 - Be Still My Soul ...

Be still, my soul! the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul! thy best, thy heavenly Friend thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake, All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord,When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Katharina von Schlegel
I believe that God is preparing me for something special and He is preparing something special for me. And, even though, I would like to have some answers and have them NOW, I know that delays are not denials. And, I am really, really trying hard to sit still!

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