Life has not always gone as I imagined it would. I often need to adjust to new realities, which are not my anticipated path. There are times when events, illness or loss intervenes, disrupting my dreams. Often, I think if my world would go as prescribed, perfection would be the result. Slowly, I appreciate the detours that make life lovable. When I am patient enough to watch it unfold, I am awed by God’s presence and marvel at the medley God is creating. Rabbi Schneerson said, “Not only will this make you treat each moment more preciously, but you will be more patient with yourself and with others, recognizing that there are millions of moments on the path to any worthwhile achievement.” Applying this gift requires me to be graceful with others and myself.
Like a child learning new skills, many times I am frustrated to realize that my desire for instant fulfillment is the antithesis of the fruit of the spirit. The Medieval Poet Saadi wrote, “Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy”. Long-suffering is not my natural trait, perseverance is essential to attain this gift. Whether my aspiration is for societal improvement or personal, it is excruciating to wait. Kierkegaard observed, “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” God continues to grant me abundant occasions to practice living patiently, while cultivating the seed of persistence. I pray with Peter Marshall, “Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work”.