How Long, O’ Lord?
The path to gratitude is paved with patience…
If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s coming. That moment when you least expect it — the agenda of others doesn’t align with yours, and with little warning, you lose your cool.
Perhaps it is in traffic, or in the grocery line, or a customer service assistant who is not responding as quickly as you would like. Doesn’t everyone understand how important you are!
You may feel like pushing back at this behavior being framed as self-importance. After all, you aren’t the only one who is out there being rude or demanding. Others are out there exuding their self-importance over another human being.
It’s the polar opposite of humility and patience, something we all would like to believe we have but most often sorely miss the mark. The world religions, including Islam, Buddhism and Christianity, emphasize teachings on patience in sacred scripture, indicating its importance in leading a holy life.
The path for discovering patience runs through your spiritual practice. Given our struggle with patience, empathy and self-importance, we’re failing at this critical element of our spiritual practice. Rationalization then creeps into the crevices of our thinking, convincing us that our situation was an exception. We had every right to be angry and impatient.
Careful with this one, beloved. Even when justified, there is room for grace. People will remember you for your words and your behavior. If it doesn’t align with your inward journey, then your inward journey needs space for healing the rough edges that you show the world.
The rough edges begin to smooth as you sit in silence, breathing, listening for the still small voice, assuring you that you are seen, loved, and all is well. How much better prepared are you to face the world when spending time immersed in the presence of the Holy?
There is a song called, “River God,” written and recorded by Nicole Nordeman. A beautiful love song, inviting the Divine love to flow over and through your being to smooth your rough edges. Spend time with this song today, and ask for your rough edges to be found and smoothed, expanding patience into the crevices where arrogance and harshness used to live.
But when I close my eyes
and feel you rushing by
I know that time brings change
and change takes time
And when the sunset comes
my prayer would be this one
that you might pick me up
and notice that I am
just a little smoother in your hands