Friday, 24 October 2014

Patience

In this busy life that we lead, patience is something that is not usually in the forefront of our thinking. For example yesterday I was conducting a funeral and while the hearse and limousines were parked outside the church, the road was blocked for a little while. One person could not wait, and they may have had good reason, but in breaking a parked cars mirror, they ended up spending a lot more time there than they intended. Another was so impatient to get out of a parking place that they could not wait for the limo to move up the street a little to let them out.

Our world seems driven by last minute panic, communication, sat-navs, the internet all help to make everything seem instant. Yet with all of this and with our diaries in our phones, we still rush from place to place, often late, often without time to think or prepare, patience is almost a dirty word.

A song of the 60's reminds me that 50 years ago the same seemed to be the case as well. "Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last". Perhaps no matter what labour and time saving gadgets we come up, we will have the same problem, we use all the time end up trying to do too much and so rush from thing to thing. As we rush we become less patient, more intent on the next thing or place to be.

A recurring theme in scripture is being still. God's words to the Israelites as they seemed to be staring certain annihilation in the face, was "be still, I will fight for you". Hard to do when you just want to run like the wind . Its a theme in a number of Psalms, finding that place to be still, waiting upon God. Stillness helps us calm down, helps us re-focus and de-stress. The panic of the disciples in a boat in a storm was calmed along with the storm when Jesus simple said "Quiet, be still".

I don't think it's the gadgets that make us impatient but its our inability to give ourselves enough time for each event or activity, trying to cram too much into our time. Taking time to be at peace, to be still, for me usually means a walk in the country and a stop as I reflect and look. Find your place and time to be still, to learn to be patient, more gets down well that way, in my experience and it usually gets done better.


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