Little Tyler sat down to write a letter to God asking for a little baby sister. He started the letter out:
Dear God, I’ve been a very good boy….
He stopped, thinking, “No, God won’t believe that.” He wadded up the paper, threw it away, and started again:
Dear God, most of the time I’ve been a good boy…He stopped in the middle of the line, again thinking, “God won’t be moved by this.” So into the trash can went another wad of paper.
Tyler went into the bathroom, grabbed a big towel off the bar, brought it into the living room and laid it on the couch. Then he went to the fireplace mantle, reached up and brought down a statue of the Madonna, the mother of Jesus, that he had eyed many times. Tyler placed the statue in the middle of the towel, gently folded over the edges, and placed a rubber band around the whole thing. He brought it to the table, took another piece of paper, and began writing his third letter to God:
Dear God, If you ever want to see your mother again….
Tyler wanted God to act, and he wanted God to act NOW!
We can identify, can’t we? How often do we pray, “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now.”
Waiting is hard because it forces us to admit there are some things that are not under our control. Most of us like to believe that we are in control. If we work hard enough, if we are adequately prepared, if we just concentrate, we can make things happen.
And that is true – but only to a point. There are some things that can’t be hurried. Recuperation from surgery, the grief process, a young person learning responsibility are just a few.
Korean American pastor and writer Joshua Kang, makes the claim that patience is a prerequisite for peace – in every sense of the word. In his book, Deep Rooted in Christ, he writes about spiritual formation, “We learn patience with our enemies, patience with those closest to us, patience with those we don’t know, even patience with ourselves.” Kang then continued, “People who have patience lack nothing. People who have patience have everything.”
Let us pray: Holy God, grant us compassion for ourselves and others. May we learn patience – and in that patience, experience your peace. Amen.