Advent is here, and that means Advent Reconciliation services, and that means I hear a LOT of confessions about the lack of patience.
I know about this too.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the world’s most patient person…but, the situation has been improved.
Here is what I have learned over the past years….the lack of Patience is really a form of ANGER. We expect something and it does not happen is a basic definition of anger.
So we expect people to do something or be something, and when they fail to live up to our expectation we get angry, we lose patience with them.
Is this a sin? Well, not directly, the devil is in the details.
Look at Jesus, he certainly lost patience with the disciples and with the religious leaders of this time. He had expectations of them and their attitudes and the way they were to shepherd the people.
The main difference between him and us, is well, the obvious, HE is the Son of God, and I hate to tell all of you this, we are NOT.
It is not wrong to have expectations. It is part of who we are. OUR problem is that often we wrap our egos up in our expectations. We think OUR way is THE way (again I remind you and me, we are NOT the Son of God). So when OUR way is NOT done, we become angry.
The true sin is really that we are controlled by our ego; we are controlled by our anger. When this occurs we are not making good decisions that reflect our love of others. Rather, it is about me, myself and I!
Our truest selves, as revealed by Christ, is of love. It is giving of ourselves for the good of others. Selfishness is contrary to our human nature.
This is how I was taught to gain patience…
1. sit in prayer, open ourselves to the reality that we ourselves are NOT God…e.g. be humble;
2. understand what we can actually control in any given situation (only ourselves and even that is minimal),
3. do what we truly can do (which I suspect is almost always going to be communication)
4. and hand the rest of the maintenance of the universe over to God.
Give this a try, every day….be patient with it!