Patience please


Patience:  an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay (source: http://www.dictionary.com).

Followers of this blog have likely heard the adage, “Patience is a virtue.”  I would add, “Patience is in short supply.” A close look at modern American society reveals that collectively we are an impatient bunch. We detest delays caused by heavy highway traffic and long stoplights. We hate standing in lines. We love express checkout lanes at the grocery store, next day delivery, and express mail. We like on demand TV programs and complain if a webpage takes a few extra seconds to load on our phones and computers. At this time of year, the Christmas season, even little kids join in anxiously counting the days until Santa arrives with his bag full of presents.

Patience has suffered in the information age, especially since the advent of the Internet. We are bombarded with a flood of information from a multitude of directions and sources. It is impossible to take it all in.  Consequently, we are increasingly fed information is small, easily digestible tidbits, whether it be news articles, sports reports, and even those pesky pop-up ads trying to sell us all kinds of stuff.

There are numerous studies indicating the way information is presented in compact form today alters the human brain, making it difficult for people to focus on long articles, books, etc. Many people today, especially younger adults, simply lack the patience to read a long book like the classic War and Peace or a James A. Michener novel, preferring the CliffsNotes version to the full-length one.  With patience in short supply, who among us will write the next classic novel or paint the next masterpiece like the Sistine Chapel? Who will perform the long, grueling research projects to cure human diseases? Who will travel to the planets?  

My wife and I are perfect examples of patience—she being a good example and me a bad one.  She is the type who will write personal notes in each of the many Christmas cards she sends. I, on the other hand, sign them and stuff them in the envelope. She can solve a difficult jigsaw puzzle in record time.  I would not dream of even starting one. She is great with handling our grandkids. I quickly slip into the drill sergeant mode when their antics irritate me. She frets about practically nothing.  I fret about myriad things. She follows a straight and narrow path while I zig and zag along. She has put up with me for almost 50 years—now that’s patience!

I am blessed with a patient wife, but even more blessed with a patient God.  When I consider my personal transgressions and the collective transgressions of our nation, I marvel that God has spared us his wrath thus far. God’s love for us is evident in His only son Jesus Christ. He suffered a cruel death on the cross as a propitiation for our sins. Through his glorious resurrection, Jesus overcame sin and death and opened the door to salvation for all who believe on His holy name. God is patient and gives us second chances, but only through the shed blood of Christ. Oh God, continue to be patient with us I pray!

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

Wishing all my readers a very blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy 2023. See you next year! Please pray for those of us in the upper Midwest where we are currently experiencing polar-like temperatures, snow, and wind.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Paul Privett on December 23, 2022 at 2:56 am

    Thank you Zach! Very well done. I too forget about patience though I was once told that I had a lot of it. I find that aging both helps and hurts my patience. Thank goodness when I do rely on the Lord he gives me reason to rejoice in any and all delays. Merry Christmas 🎄

    Reply

  2. Posted by Cindy Fleeson on December 24, 2022 at 12:05 am

    Zach, Thank you for continuing to write these and sending them. Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    Reply

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