I can honestly say that one of my biggest vices and biggest weaknesses is impatience. I am sure anyone can confirm this with any of my friends or family. When I ran track the worst thing about a track meet was the time I had to wait before my race. I would sit there on the bleachers watching everyone else do their event, sitting in the unbearable sun, listening to my CD player, trying not to think of the four hours before my race. It would never fail and my nerves would start to get to me and I would get restless. I was already so nervous for the race to sit there and have all the time in the world before my event was the worst. I could not enjoy a meet until my event was over. I remember being so unbearable. By the time my race came about I was so worked up that I was mentally shot because I had wasted so much energy being impatient. Sometimes I feel I am in that state now…impatiently waiting for my race.
Patience is defined in the dictionary as ¨the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.¨ Also, ¨an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.¨ 1
I never saw this impatience as a serious evil…until recently. There has been much delay since I have gotten out of training. I had touched briefly on this in my other post, ¨Walking in the Wilderness.¨ I find myself still there, still complaining. I have been able to see my impatience, my attitude towards the situation as fervor or a strong passionate desire to do ¨what¨ I came here to do. The Father has been showing me something different, which I would like to think recently but know He has been trying to tell me for sometime.
The evil of impatience I have found breeds many more vices. It is a mother vice. In my impatience, in my complaints that my present circumstance are somehow not satisfactory, that God is not ¨using¨ me, I have found my self doubting, fearing, and questioning the Will of God. It is as if He is not enough in all circumstances. Who am I to not bear annoyance, irritation, or the like when confronted with delay? Our Lord Jesus waited 30 years before starting His ministry and I am sure during that time ¨grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God…¨ (Luke 2:52)
In Hebrew, I believe (correct me if I am wrong) the word for wait is the same word for hope. Or at the very least is interchangeable in the translation to English. I find this to be so beautiful. In waiting on God we are hoping for what is to come. By being impatient I have shown my lack of trust and faith. But I am ready to hope. I am ready to be patient and allow Him to speak to me and enjoy His presence.
In struggling in this matter, my boss made an incredible analogy. Though I know almost nothing about music, he explained this situation like a piece played on a piano. That the audience hears beautiful melodies and walks away remembering the main parts, the climaxes of the piece. But, he said, it is the moments of silence that no one notices but are most essential in setting up the parts that are the most memorable. It is a preparation, a climatic anticipation that truly creates something so beautiful.
I can remember so many times in my life periods of waiting on the next thing and being impatient in the process. I am still learning this, and maybe this is what I have to learn before I can start racing again. But I can also tell you that these ¨moments of silence¨ were always precursors to God doing an amazing work in my life. I cannot begin to grasp to what God is up to now with all this waiting, all this silence. But I wait and I hope and in this, in Him I can have joy and trust His timing. I will be thankful for this moment of silence for I know that something beautiful will proceed.
1. Dictionary – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/patience