So what is this thing about being patient that has me all tied up inside like a crazy woman? Why do I have to be patient, or maybe I should just have patience, or is there even a difference? To be something means I have to change who I am, but to have something means that I can acquire it. I'll tell you what...I think I am a very patient person, but I am a little tired of waiting. But doesn't that sound like a huge contradiction? And does having patience even mean to wait? I hate waiting. Hate is a strong word, and we couldn't even say it in my house growing up, but I'm older now, and there are few things that I really despise, and that is being late, and waiting!! I don't really think many of use enjoy waiting, because it takes away some of our control. We can't make things just happen faster because we want them to, or can we?
See this is exactly why it makes me so nuts.
When I look in my thesaurus, (and this is something that I love to do by the way), some of the words that share the same meaning as patient as an adjective are submissive, forbearing, unruffled, passive, persevering, calm. but THEN, patience, as a noun, there are words like forbearance, fortitude, composure, endurance, persistence. I think I want to pick noun. Being submissive , and forbearing, or passive, are not really things that I choose to be. But words like fortitude, and endurance and persistence I like!! Unfortunately, I don't really get to choose. I have to be both in order to reap the benefits of the idea of this word.
So now that you have all had a little taste of what goes on in my head somedays, and you have had a peek into my "teacher" side, let me try to break this post down. I am ready for things in my life to change. Im not complaining about the way things are, but I feel like there is a pull towards bigger and better things for me and my family, and I don't want to be in a tug of war against that pull. Life is like that sometimes.We are fighting against things instead of just letting things happen. I know that there are seasons in our lives when we do have to practice patience, and be passive and forbearing, but I also know that being a little aggressive, and persistent can really start to make things happen. I said I hate waiting and I feel like unless I take the bull by the horns, things are just going to stay the same. I have to decide...we always have to decide, whether to sink or swim. I don't feel like I am sinking, but I'm just kinda bobbing up and down in the water. Swimming is forward motion, towards a destination, with determination and drive. I liken it to the idea of being in a circular pool. We had a pool in my backyard growing up. If all of the people that were swimming started going in the same direction around the pool, initially it was a little tough to get things going but very quickly, that water would start to flow in the same direction with force, and almost push us in the direction that we wanted to go!!
Isn't that an exciting thought. That if I start to move my life in the direction that I want it to go, and I have the people along side me to help me get it going in the same direction, that soon we will all be going to that place together with much less effort and struggle. Patience applies, because it doesn't just happen right away. I can't just dive it and expect to go. I have to endure, and submit. I have to persist and forbear. I have to sometimes wait...grrr!!
Thank goodness for my level headed, reasonable, realistic husband. He is supportive, but he does his best to keep me grounded. I would take off with all cylinders fired up and then crash and burn many times if it were not for him. He brings me back to the "calm" part of the definition, as in "calm down". There is a longstanding saying, that tells us not to pray for patience, because then you will have it tested repeated until you have shown that you have attained the ability to be patient, so I stopped praying for it a long time ago. I have however, learned that there are substations for that saying,"be patient". Two of my favourites are "be still" and "cease striving".
Be still. Don't run ahead of what is suppose to happen in your life. Calm down and relax your mind. Listen and wait.
Can you just see why this is like slow torture for me. I run. That is what I do. It is my passion. So when you tell me not to run, I get a little anxious. Wait...seriously? One of the two things that I hate, and I have to do that too. And how do I calm down and relax? I have seven children and a husband and a house and a job and lessons and laundry and dust and dinner? So this can't be for me. This has to be for someone who can do all these things well. But then there is this awesome catch to this. I am given permission to wait expectantly!! So really, its not as hard to wait when you know that there is something worth waiting for. And I like the word expectantly. Look it up!! You see words like HOPE, and ANTICIPATE. I like those words...a lot.
So I think I can be still, but how do I cease striving. That feels like I am whimping out. It sounds like "stop trying". But it is not those things at all. It is part of human nature to strive, especially when things get tough and we want them to change. It gets frustrating when we are working so hard to reach goal or work towards change, and then nothing seems to be going our way. this is what I learned. In Hebrew the expression "cease striving" means to "let your hands drop" or to "let go" or "relax". Relax is good. I could use a little relaxation in my life. I need to let go sometimes too. I can be a control freak, and taking a step back and letting go of a situation can be very freeing. So I think I can do this.
I feel like I am starting to convince myself that I can still have all the things that I want without all of the stress and pressure that might come along with it, but only if I make wise choices along the way, and keep my character in check. Here it is in a nutshell for you today...(but mostly for me:). Release. Rely. Relax. Receive. I won't dive into the thesaurus on these ones, but I think you see where I'm going with all of this.
Patience is complex. Being patient is difficult. I am working on it every day. I am going to hold on to those words like hope, and anticipate, and persist, because they keep my whirlpool moving in the right direction. I don't have to strive when the current is pushing me forward, I don't have to run ahead, I can just go with the flow. But I do have to work to keep things going. I can't just leave that up to everyone around me. I am committed to what I know is in store, and I and going to be patient, cease striving, and be still and let it happen.