Impatience could possibly be the greatest enemy of the stewardship way of life. Impatience causes people to give up too soon. Impatience creates doubt, fear and insecurity. Impatience provokes impulsive decisions that most likely won’t be best for a person, and the decisions that are made often result in regrets that can last a long time. Impatience can challenge a person’s prayer life so much so that it can impact our trust in God, His mercy and even His love. Impatience makes one suspicious of the stewardship way of life, blinding one to seeing God’s grace working in His people. I am sure that much more could be said about the pitfalls or challenges of impatience. From personal experience, I am absolutely convinced of the destructive nature of impatience, and the negative impact it has on authentic discipleship. Therefore, I am confident in proposing that impatience is a problem for the stewardship way of life.
Patience, on the other hand, pays, if you can wait to collect. Patience allows me to be persistent when it is easier to quit. Patience gives me confidence and the courage to be secure in my faith. Patience gives me the time to make rational and good decisions that I won’t regret. Patience enhances my prayer life and teaches me to wait for God, trusting Him completely. Patience gives me an opportunity to see God’s gifts clearly and appreciate them all the more. Patience is “my friend,” impatience is not, when it comes to understanding the stewardship way of life and my willingness to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
The “reality” of my life and the lives of others is, the more sincere I may be about the value of patience, the more I struggle “with the best of them” with impatience. Today, as I reflect again on the commitment to live the stewardship way of life, I realize that I don’t think I am the best witness of faithful stewardship when I am impatient.
So, I pray for patience. I pray long and hard for the gift of patience, and patiently wait for the “gift” and the insight to be that patient man I believe God wants me to be. It proves, “Patience pays, if you can wait to collect it.” I have come to believe that the more patient one is, the more one learns to trust God in all matters of life – a good lesson in stewardship.
Patience may also be considered a very important gift. It is a gift when someone has been incredibly patient with you, and a very generous gift we give in return when we are patient with others. Patience is really a blessing when we realize how patient our loved ones, fellow parishioners, co-workers and even strangers are with us. I do believe there are people who have a “talent” for being patient. I don’t know what the ingredient is that God instilled in them, but they truly are a blessing to our community.
I think “time” is well spent when one is patient. It gives the person an opportunity to experience something, rather than just get it done and over with. I am always amazed at the American tourists in the restaurants who grow angry and impatient with the service they receive in Italy. “Where’s my food?” “Where’s the server?” “Where’s the bill?” Italians believe that eating is something to experience with people who are important to you at that particular time. Spending time with each other at a meal requires patience, for most. Often, those who dine in Italy are usually made well aware of how impatient they actually are, which becomes clear rather quickly.
There are no tricks to being patient. I believe it becomes a choice we make when we realize what is most important in this life. And isn’t that the doorway that leads us to the stewardship way of life? As we realize how patient God is with us, let us practice the “art of patience” with others. For when we do, we become living examples of patience in a world that longs for it. So please remember, “Patience pays, if we can wait to collect.”