Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lent '09 - Day 30: Impatience

I was reading Matthew this morning, and as you may be aware, this first book of the New Testament starts out with a genealogy of Jesus. If you've read the Old Testament, many of these names in Jesus' earthly lineage are familiar. In seeing all these generations listed out, it struck me how patient either God is for his plan to unfold and/or patient he expected his people to be. Promises were made to Abraham and David for example that were not fulfilled until hundreds of years later.

It was funny to recognize this patience demonstrated in Scripture, as I realized my own impatience of late. Due to the national soccer game tonight (which we we won!), traffic was a bear and every taxi already had someone in it. I had worked late the night before, and just wanted to get home to rest, but it wasn't happening. I would get frustrated and move to a different spot to hail a taxi or catch a bus. I know that if I had just stayed put and waited in line for a taxi at the grocery store, that I would have gotten home sooner than I did. In the past, I've considered myself a patient person, but that has proven wrong amidst some of the waiting here. I wish I could remember more examples, but I do remember hearing Kara say multiple times, "what's the rush?"

Have you thought about what's at the root of impatience? I think it has to do with a mixture of the following:
  • Tiredness. Patience goes down when I'm more tired.
  • Belief of self-importance, like "my time is more valuable than this".
  • Discontent. When I am filled, especially spiritually, waiting is not so bad. It's an opportunity to read or pray. When I am not, I want to stay moving to distract me or deny the emptiness.
Last night, a mixture of all three were at work. The first is unavoidable at times, but two and three aren't good. Time to ask for help to move past them.

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