"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew." ~ Saint Francis De Sales
In your patience possess ye your souls. ~ Luke 21:19
We live in an instant gratification world. All of the high tech push button luxuries of this world, though they have helped, they have also seemingly distracted us from our own humanness. We want all the joys, power, money, and luxuries of life, and we want it NOW! We want our health back NOW! We want that job promotion NOW! We want our marriages to be healed NOW! Press a button, flick a switch, pull a trigger and all should be in place and perfectly balanced NOW! The child wants to be a teenager. A teenager wants to be an adult. Impatience moves all us to do things and expect things beyond the moment of our time of life. We want things before their time and our impatience overcomes our prudence to take the appropriate steps and the right decisions.
The scripture says to everything there is a season. We want to run, but it is really the season to walk. Young people are impatient to get married, and in their impatience, they race past the gift of being single only to find themselves not ripe enough to deal with the season of marriage! We eat trash foods, pollute our bodies, and exercise little, then when the moment of sickness hits our body, we want healing NOW! Our inability to wait and endure the temptations of the moment, bring us to a crash and burn later on in life.
Carl Jung said, "Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity." We must learn to play the hand that God has dealt us and to play it with patience. The scripture admonishes...in our patience we would possess our souls! Herein lies a bigger picture of where our impatience may take us. When we lose our patience, we are more apt to lose our souls. The spiritual ramifications of falling prey to our lustful desires and appetites are far more consequential than the things we can perceive with our senses! It is the inner man struggle to keep the right things the main things. The 'spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak' and might I add, very impatient. How many times have we given in to the moment without looking beyond the moment to later regret the decision? One would think, after making a few quick impatient decisions, we would learn a lesson or two and not fall prey to the flash pan protocol of our desires. But, without a doubt, there is a definite contrariness that is innately planted within this human body. The Apostle Paul said it this way..."For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Wow! Sounds like a battle to me, and not just a battle but a war! Most of the time we KNOW what the right thing to do 'is', but it seems as though, another 'force' is always looking for an easier, quicker way toward 'satisfaction'. Then, when we finally give in to this quicker easier way, it is often met with remorse because the action never materializes into the satisfaction that was promised in the moment of decision. Like Esau, who gave up his birth rite to Jacob for a bowl of pottage, his momentary feeling as 'though he were about to die' was traded for all the natural and spiritual blessings only the first born was privy too. Like Esau, we give consent to the 'quick fixes' of life only to not only regret the decision, but realize later in life, the quick fix made matters far worse than if we would have patiently waded beyond the moment of temptation. Though disheartening these lost battles may play upon our hearts, they are just that, momentarily lost battles! We must remember, we may have lost a few battles, but we have not yet lost the war.
If we want true success. If we want to really 'see' and perceive what is truly going on around us, our first step is to SLOW DOWN! We must take the time to examine ourselves and the situations of life that we are confronting. Lao Tzu made this statement, "Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Be still and allow the mud to settle." The rat race gets us so befuddled and caught up in its pace, for us to truly see, we must have the understanding and the power to step back from it all.
Today, I want you to slow down. Take a deep breath and slow down. Step back and examine yourself. LEARN to be patient. LEARN that patience is not only a virtue, but also your friend!