“God, grant me patience and give it to me NOW.”
We jokingly pray, “God, grant me patience and give it to me NOW.” The irony is that NOW is precisely the gift patience gives us.
Patience is the space between where you have been and where you long to be. Patience is the oxygen that allows us to breathe in the now when we long to be somewhere else. The space between where we have been and where we long to be can be daunting. It is unfinished, unknown, messy, full of twists and turns. We want to hurry through it. We look for shortcuts. We think there must be an easier way. So we pray for patience. Patience isn’t an epidural that dulls the discomfort of the in-between. Patience is the wise sage sitting on the side of the road reminding us life can only be lived where we are and not where we wish we were.
I remember taking long family trips in the car as a child. I’d be the one in the back, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” My father would respond to my annoying impatience saying, “Let’s play I spy with my little eye.” We would then spend the next two hours spying all of the little wonders along the way we missed in our anxiety to get to our destination. It’s funny how paying attention to the life around us made the journey far more enjoyable. Patience isn’t miserably putting up with where you are until you are somewhere else. Patience is the invitation to live where you. Patience reminds you that, yes, you DO have time for what matters. Sometimes we are so impatient to be somewhere else we don’t take the time to live and love NOW.
T.S.Elliot asks, “Where is the life you have lost in the living?”
I Cor. 13 says, “Love is patient.” You can only give love and receive love right now. Rumi said, “Now is where love breathes.” Patience gives us the gift of NOW. We spend our lives on the road between where we’ve been and where we long to be. Patience invites us to spy with our little eye the life that is to be lived on the road right now. Patience says there is nothing more important than loving the person in front of you right now.
The funny thing is that as you are patient with what is, you might just discover you already are where you long to be.