My parents have a running joke from my childhood that I needed to see every bathroom in America. And while it may have concerned a doctor, it was more so my restlessness that left me asking for so many stops. (sorry mom + dad.)
I was definitely the “are we there yet?” kid and sometimes I’m still that girl. Even as I write this I find myself checking social media, pouring myself that second cup of coffee, stretching out to avoid sitting still.
And I don’t think I’m alone. Our living in this world of instant gratification has us missing out on one skill.
I know we’ve all heard the cliches around patience.
“Good things take time.”
“Patience is a virtue.”
“Love is patient, love is kind.”
“Patience, young grasshopper.” (Personal favorite).
I can remember in high school first hearing about the fruit of the Spirit–you know, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
In high school I asked my Young Life leader, Glynda, how to have those attributes. The irony is not lost by me that I wanted to immediately be more patient.
I’ll never forget her response that God doesn’t just give out these characteristics and suddenly we are more at peace, more kind, more patient. Instead He gives us opportunities to be more patient, more loving, more at peace. It’s in the opportunity and our response that bears the fruit of the Spirit.
These opportunities come every day.
Waiting for good weather.
Patience with the student who never has their pencil.
Listening in a conversation instead of simply talking.
Patience for the next season of a show to come back.
In dating, waiting to hear from that one person.
In the classroom, trying to hang on to patience when the same student acts out.
Waiting on a server to bring food. (Or really any service taking too long).
Extending grace to ourselves when we make a mistake.
With these daily opportunities, let’s choose to walk in the waiting and trust that we will be better people on the other side. Whether it’s patience with your spouse, children, job, co-workers, let us be the ones who take intentional breaths before responding. Let us be like the heroes among us who have leaned towards patience their entire lives and delight in offering grace to others around them. Let us be the ones who see the reward of patience in the end.
Who will we become as we lean into these opportunities to wait well? I cannot wait to see.
The waiting is worth it. It is always worth it.
Good things really do take time.
Patiently Waiting with You,