Monday, February 08, 2010

Patience = Serenity

Patience - it's something we all need. 

If we don't have patience - we add immeasurable stress to our lives and the lives of others around us. 

Sometimes we don't even realize the lack of patience we have with certain people or in certain situations. We act or react the way we always do without even pausing to wonder if we our lack of patience could be making the situation worse. 

Other times we're aware and we say things like, "I should have more patience with him/her/it, but ...
And then we justify why we don't have patience. We justify why we complain, yell, grumble or walk away.

Patience is not a rare diamond. We can have it - seriously we can. It is available to all of us. It's a choice we make multiple times a day.

Can you teach yourself patience? Is patience like a muscle - can it be strengthen with regular use?

Yes and Yes ... because:
"Patience is not passive; on the contrary, 
it is active; it is concentrated strength."  
- Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

On a day when you have time, select the longest checkout line. While patiently waiting, have a pleasant conversation with someone around you. 

Or train your patience muscle by walking behind or beside your child at his/her pace instead of in front of them.

How's this for great news - God's spirit will give us patience.

The words in the NIV Bible are familiar, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

It's a pleasant surprise to see the wording in "The Message."

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. 
 ~ Paul in a letter to the Galatians

Patience is translated as serenity. Haven't we all longed for more serenity in our lives? Between training ourselves and asking God - the choice is ours!

This post is part of the Blog Carnival on Patience - hosted by Bridget Chumbley.
Go to One Word at a Time to read more posts about patience.


katdish said...

Well, sure...

When you put it like that, patience really is a good thing to have. A learned discipline, not necessarily a natural attribute. Great thoughts here, Janet!

Bridget Chumbley said...

Does it count if every time I go to the store the line I pick ends up with a problem and takes the longest?
You are completely on the right track and make it sound really easy... thanks for the great points, Janet.

Glynn said...

You nailed it, Janet. Patience is a choice. Why does that make me uncomfortable?

Russell Holloway said...

Patience is active ... I like that idea. That means I can do something while I wait ... :-)

Bonnie Gray said...

Patience is hard. That's why it's supernatural. We can practice supernatural choices. It's not so simple, which makes it so wonderful God helps us.

Amy Sorrells said...

A choice. Oh, yeah, is it ever a choice. And serenity--love that word. And that place, when I find it. Although, George kinda ruined it on Seinfeld . . . "SERENITY NOW!!!!!"

S. Etole said...

"concentrated strength" ... some really good thoughts you have shared with us

M.L. Gallagher said...

I love that you pointed out patience is a choice.

YOu make good sense!