June 22, 2008


Today as I was muttering angry words under my breath at my computer screen, I had a moment of clarity...I was getting frustrated and very upset at an inanimate object that could not in any way respond to my audible impatience at the slow speed it was moving to do what I wished. My computer, more specifically one of the computers where I work, could never answer me with, "Sorry, I'm almost there. " or "Please be patient, I'm doing my best.", no it can only grind away or freeze up and not give me any sort of calming answer to my angry wait.

Why was I getting so upset? Why was I frustrated with a piece of plastic and metal? What good would come of me muttering and clicking with all my might? Nothing. It happened to be running slowly this day and there wasn't much I could do other than wait or stop it and start again and wait some more.

So I waited.

I breathed deeply, and did something I hadn't done in quite some time....I asked God for patience.

I asked for patience with this machine, and patience with myself to keep calm and figure out what I needed to do to get my morning work finished and done well.

As many who know me are aware, I am NOT a patient person by nature. I am not slow to anger, I am not always as collected and as easy going as I can often come across.

No, not at all.

I am easily frustrated, quick to mutter or express my anger and not a fun person to be around when I am upset or wanting something to move faster, or work better.

As this moment of clarity came, it was quickly followed up by an almost providential message I felt directed straight to me: our Pastor preached on "Patience".
He has been speaking on the Fruit of the Spirit for the past few months and today happened to be his message on Nurturing Spiritual Growth with lead to the main point on Patience. Some of the message hit me right where I needed it. First was that we need a partnership between God and us in order to nurture our spiritual garden. Our maturity in God is in our hands, God gives us love and grace but we need to constantly be hand in hand with our creator in order to strengthen and assist our spiritual life to grow and flower and blossom into a life close to God. Yes, we can be saved, but it is up to us to strive towards something even greater and sweeter.

He also told a story of when he had learned to drive and he pleased himself with his ability to honk the car's horn when people cut him off, or drove to slowly, or frustrated him. Yet when he drove with his father, he was abashed by the way his dad never used his horn. He had let several perfect opportunities to honk. When he asked about this, his dad said, "Son, I find if you wait a moment or two longer, people are usually quick to correct their mistakes and then nobody is embarrassed and things will move along smoothly."

Speaking of patience, he used two roots of the word Patience, from the Greek:
"Makrothumia, Patience with People"
"Humpomone, Patience with Things".

People who utilize patience do not lose heart. A Greek woman in our first service said there is a song in Greece that is still sung, about Hupomone, which says when you have it the skies turn bluer. How wonderful an image...the patient person's world can be enriched and they can see things not evident in their frustration.

I know I need patience, everyday, every week, I need patience with things and with people.

I want to be that strong, mature person, who can step back and let everyone have a moment to correct themselves and life will run more smoothly, be sweeter and more enjoyable.

Thanks God, for giving me the patience I need. Help me to not let the moment pass by when all I need to do is ask when I need it.


shantala said...

Amen kirsten! it sounds like you are making the decision to trust in God and let Him help you. It can be very tough sometimes to do that. I think we often struggle with pride. We think we are fine, and can do it our selves. When really... we desperatly need Him to fill us and help us through every moment of our day...even the silly frustrations of slow computers! I feel your pain in that regard... there has been more than one occasion that I wanted to chuck my puter out the window!

Lean hard into God... I guarantee he will be there EVERY time you need Him!

Love ~S

Anonymous said...

Remember our little drive yesterday...You really do have patience! :)

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