My dad always has this saying, “Sarah, don’t ask a question that you don’t really want to know the answer.” When I was younger & he would tell me this, I was always perplexed by why he would occasionally discourage me from asking questions – then I got some answers to various questions that were just TMI (too much info)!!!
Sometimes, I think this is also true with the idea of patience. When I was younger, I used to ask God to help me to be more patient. Then when He started to help me with the patience thing, I didn’t necessarily liked how He was helping me, so I stopped asking for His help with patience 🙂
I think I’m kind of starting to come full circle. I can’t say that I’m just chasing God down on the patience topic, but I am most certainly appreciating the importance of developing patience. Here are some things that I’m finding helpful for me with the development of patience (although I’m not even close to arriving at being patient):
- remove the microwave mentality: I’ve noticed that when I marinate meat for a long time (even a few days in the refrigerator), it just gets continually better the longer I marinate the meat. In contrast, if I throw some ground beef in the microwave & nuke it for 2min, the flavor is lame at best (nothing compared to the marinated meat). Immediate and microwave results aren’t always better than cultivated & marinated efforts
- perhaps my kids are impatient with getting an answer from me because I’ve modeled impatience to them when I want them to clean their rooms, brush their teeth, empty the dishwasher, sweep the floor, etc in less than 4min. I often hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me as it relates to my kids, “Slow down”
- the journey versus destination perspective: maybe I’m impatient because I don’t feel like “I’ve arrived” rather than considering that each day is an adventure to explore God’s love to me & through me
- running late makes me impatient & I frequently run late – perhaps I should stop scheduling things to be so close together & give more “breathing” space between appointments rather than seeing that space as wasted time
- something that really helps me is when I consider that God is in charge of my life – I’ve surrendered my life to God & because of this, He directs my steps, organizes my time & the demands on me. I always find it to be so interesting that when I find myself backed against the wall with a deadline & worried that I won’t make it, He almost always comes up with some creative solution, either through eliminating a task / expectation or through making my efforts supernaturally efficient.