When the rubber meets the road, I have not been patient when I not really thinking about it. I probably used the phrase “you have got to be kidding me!!!” more this month every other month of my life combined. Roberta brought this to my attention as we were at a friend’s house begging them for a favor. I was a little impatient and rude, I guess. As soon as the deal was done, I announced our need to leave and move on to more important things.
That is an interesting thing about teaching. It is so easy to deceive yourself into thinking that you are doing so well with something because you concentrate on it when in teaching mode. The real test is how do you do when you are not thinking about it, which is really difficult to gage, because you are not thinking about it.
I think we can easily get level-headed or easy-going confused with patience. Patience is so much more than the combination of not blowing your stack when things don’t go your way, and the ability to wait. Patience is the ability to have joy in all circumstances. I love the way Paul says it in Philippians 4:11-12 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
I wish that I had penned those words, or I could even say it without it being a lie. Truth of the matter is, I am self centered, and that causes my impatience.
God, help me to learn to not be self-centered, or impatient. Show me, even when I am not thinking about it, my impatience. Help to have joy in all circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.