Patience is a virtue, they say. Mine is being tested- I am in danger of failing.
Politics is driving me barking. Rudeness and misrepresentation is bringing the political office into sore disrepute. Fancy this- some people disagree with me! How daft can you get. Of course I’m right. I cannot understand why some apparently bright folks are saying and doing crazy things in peculiar ways. I am gradually gaining insight… “Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.” (Proverbs 15:18)
But it is enough to test the patience of a saint.
Note that I am not identifying my preferences or the misled opponents of common sense: that is not my place or purpose. I hope to encourage the ones I agree with and the ones I don’t agree with to join in two things. First, to work at becoming patient; and secondly to share in the most sensible thing we can do- pray about the things aggrieving us and causing us to worry.
The dog in the photo was amazingly patient (and very good at getting comfortable). His solution to living in a busy cafe appeared to be taking it lying down. Choosing a canny spot, he could slumber where customers could not fall over him; but be close enough to the tables to pick up the occasional snack or some fuss and attention. He enjoyed the life of Riley and was well rested.
Many of us are finding it too easy to get into fights (or at least vigorous online arguments) because the current issues and personalities arouse deep passions and prejudices. You understand that I have the deep passions- and the other lot own the prejudices!
Them seeing it the other way round is a problem.
Someone needs to set some dignified and humble examples. Unsurprisingly, Paul of Tarsus has wisdom to challenge me… “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
A prayer to share:
Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, grant us wisdom in sharing what we know- and in recognising we don’t know everything. Give courage to contend fairly for the views we own, and the dignity to expect to learn from people we disagree with.
Lord, since You are Sovereign over the world you made, help us to trust that You can work round or through the disputes of humanity: we can pray as Jesus taught, “Let Your will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.” We are in all sorts of mess- again- and once more we cry out to You for restoration and reconciliation. Lord, show mercy to us.
Help us to become the people of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience that we are supposed to be. Then we will be part of the answer, instead of part of the problem. May we forgive and be forgiven, respect and be respected, and learn to see the pain and the goodness in everyone we encounter. For then we may be able love more, and build a better future for all.
And maybe, God of Compassion, we will echo Your compassion by reaching out with love to those facing flood, famine, war and persecution. Our problems seem smaller when we care for those in immediate crisis.
Patience grows best we we have have to practice it. Help us appreciate the lesson. Amen.