Impatient to be Patient

Are you a patient person? Do you care whether you are or not? Or are you someone who is impatient to be patient?

Most of the time I can go with the flow. I patiently wait in lines, I listen to people for however long they need to talk, and I’ll wait for days to receive a response to questions or tasks that need to be accomplished. But even I have times when my patience is tried.

I don’t know what traffic is like where you live, but the Seattle area is known for being inhabited by scary drivers. I understand that people have places to go and people to see, but do they have to almost run me off the road in the process?

I try to be aware of other drivers, and I’m courteous in letting people move into my lane. Unfortunately, too often, other people behind the wheel weren’t brought up to be polite and take their turn. They shoot in and around other vehicles at the slightest whim, seemingly unconcerned that they’re putting lives in jeopardy. I become a little less patient in those situations.

Walking into a grocery store is like venturing into a war zone. I try to be observant and sensitive to those around me. I move my cart to the side, and step out of the way as soon as another shopper approaches. People wander, oblivious to anyone else around them. They step in front of me or block aisles with their carts and bodies. They’d rather go through me than around me. No matter what object draws my interest, they’ve got to converge to look at the same thing—at the same time. While standing in the checkout lane, some even try to nudge me along faster by brushing up against me as I make my payment. “Stay back, people! You’re invading my personal space!”

We’ve become so used to our modern conveniences, that we expect things to move at rapid speed. We’re not content with anything taking even a small amount of time.

We become irritated when the microwave takes two minutes to cook food instead of thirty seconds.

Our feet tap the floor while waiting for our e-mail to come up on the computer. Remember dial-up? It would take FOREVER to get online, and then we’d suddenly be kicked off.

My husband and I love having a DVR. We tape almost everything we watch so we can zip through the commercials. When we do watch something televised as scheduled, we become impatient with having to sit through the commercials. I’ve even found myself picking up the remote out of habit, thinking that I could skip through the commercials, and then realizing it wasn’t possible.

Let’s not even talk about computerized answering systems for companies that force you to go through either pushing ongoing numbers or vocally repeating yourself until you actually get connected with a live person!

We become impatient while attempting to lose weight. Why can’t we just lose it as fast as we’d like?

Prayers for God to do great things in our lives are expected to be answered overnight. After all, isn’t he God? Shouldn’t the desires of my heart show up on the doorstep the next morning?

Yes … there are times when our patience can indeed be tried. We’re human.

But there's great value in being patient.

In backing off and being patient while driving, a life may be saved.

By setting frustration aside and being more tolerant and patient with shoppers, we’re showing respect and humbling ourselves—even if they’re not aware of it. That person who may be oblivious to the fact that we were just about to grab that same can of olives may have had the day from hell. They may have more things on their mind than staying out of our way.

Being patient with our spouses, children, friends, and co-workers is another way to demonstrate not only God’s love, but a maturity in our faith. “A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).

God desires us to be patient in all things and with all people. “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

It’s not always easy to be patient … but think of how often God is patient with us …


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