Patience – a work in progress

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Patience is an issue I struggle with – I want things now, I want results quickly. When it come to immediate gratification I’ll be the little girl munching the marshmallow instead of waiting. It looks like my girl has the same issue, although she still has plenty of time to learn.

She had been pottering around our back yard last night for a few minutes while I was cooking. When it came time to come in for her bath I found this:

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A pile of picked unripe tomatoes. She very proudly owned up that it was her who had harvested them and piled them by the tap for washing. But there was no reasoning with her that these tomatoes were not ready. She was proud of her ‘mato’ hoard.

Patience in a real learning process, one that I am still studying.  When I diet I want overnight success, when I seek God I want instant answers. A few weeks ago a read this interesting post by Eric Spier asking what would have happened if Moses had of given up waiting for God – he had to wait 7 days in the cloud on the mountain before God spoke to him. Had I been Moses I would have been gone by day 2 and missed out on what God had to say.

There is an only poem my mum used to say:

Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can,

Seldom in a woman, never in a man

This is a virtue I lack and it makes me wonder what am I missing out on because of it?

 Psalm 37: 5-7 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Lord, help me to be patient with myself and with you. Help me grow in my patience and each me how to wait on you, for you are worth waiting on.

Exploding Watermelons, a lesson in patience

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My Dad sends me parts of the Sunday newspaper, magazines, DVDs and sweet to keep me in touch with home. One of the newspaper snippets caught my eye this weekend – Exploding Watermelons. It seems that overuse of growth accelerants combined with weather conditions fields of Watermelons are exploding one melon at a time. The farmers are perplexed – is it the seeds, the accelerant or the weather – some farmers who haven’t used the chemicals are also experiencing explosions.

It reminded me of how impatient we can be – needed everything to be done quickly and preferably with a short cut. Ionce remember asking my babysitter when she took me to the pool when I was little what talcum powder was for. When she told me it was to help us dry quicker so I obviously I dumped half a bottle of talc in my hair, causing a big mess. I thought it was a obvious way to speed things up, but instead it just messed thing up. Patience is a quality that few of us possess – especially me. My mum used to recite this little poem to me:

Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.

Patience is counter culture and unnatural to us. But for some things there is no short cut.

This culture is on an extraordinary pace toward needing things to be more efficient. But that is a value that is ultimately antithetical to the gospel. I’ve never heard of efficient wisdom, efficient love, efficient suffering or efficient compassion. Shane Hipps

If we try to put our lives in fast forward and try to grow and progress at a faster pace than God intended for us we are in danger of exploding like the Watermelons, or of burning out, or giving up as it is too hard. Patience is more than a virtue; it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Are you in danger of imploding due to a fast forward life – try a little patience with others, but especially yourself. Lord, let me bear the fruit of patience, especially with myself.

Patience

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Ramos is delayed in Mozambique dealing with police paperwork to de-register our truck – this means that he is 2 days later than I expected. I hate waiting and I hate being late.

How do you get to the stage were you are at peace with waiting? I get panicky when there are delays, but they are out of my hands so what does my stressing achieve other than tormenting myself? But how do you get to the stage were you can just it go? 

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

How do you clothe yourself in patience? It sounds like patience is not a gift bestowed upon us but a choice. Lord help me to put on patience today.