Be patient. If you don’t do it with patience, you make it kaputt.

Our pottery teacher Karen from Uganda

That sucks!

You’re standing at the checkout in the supermarket and the guy in front of you has been rummaging in his wallet for a cent coin for two minutes. Or the woman in front of you in the car at the traffic lights doesn’t move, even though it’s been green for three seconds. Or the package from your last order arrives three hours later. Or your child does wrong for the tenth time what you have already explained a thousand times. Or your parents don’t listen to you again, even though you’ve given them the advice so many times. Or your colleague asks the same question for the third time within five minutes. Or you still don’t have an answer to your application. Or the tax refund is still in the pipeline.

Test of patience

Yes, there are thousands of situations in this world that test our patience and stretch it to breaking point. Some people cope well. Some not so much. “Patience is a virtue” says a proverb. The Bible also often speaks of patience and God doesn’t always work at the pace we would like either.

It’s time to become patient. No problem. Well, maybe a little. So, yes, on second thought… but, no. Sh…! Patience is not my strong point. If you feel the same way, then read on. Have a little patience.

I know about patience too. I can have a lot of patience, but there are situations where I don’t have it. I want to be clear about important things and finish tasks. Sometimes I use more shampoo or drink the last bit from a bottle so that the container is empty. I like that then. Weird, huh?

The problem with impatience is that you can become unfair or even angry. And that can also end unpleasantly and do more bad than good.

Where does the impatience come from?

That is a good question. It is certainly a question of character. Some people are more impulsive, others calm themselves. Maybe there is a fear of not getting what one needs or wants. Maybe bad experiences, e.g. that one has suffered from lack or rejection. Maybe unprocessed experiences in that respect – one is always vulnerable at such points. Perhaps one only wishes that everything is/goes perfectly because one loves the perfect. Maybe because one’s own idea is not fulfilled. Maybe you don’t feel respected/loved by other people when they don’t do what you want. Maybe you feel overwhelmed because everything is too much? Maybe inner dissatisfaction? When you are out of the current, acute situation, ask yourself what triggered you in the situation?

In the end, I don’t know about you. Everybody has to listen to him/herself to find out why it is like that. The “maybes” should serve as food for thought.

What can be done?

You certainly don’t become patient overnight – you need patience 😉.

You have to work all your life, struggle and start anew every day. You have to be patient not only with others, but also with yourself.

Franz von Sales (Prince-Bishop of Geneva, founder of a religious order, mystic and Doctor of the Church)

But I do want to share a few tips for making things easier in acute situations:

  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out several times.
  • Pray – speak to God to help you through.
  • Realise that it is no use stressing now.
  • Realise that the world will not end if this one thing is not done immediately.
  • If the situation allows, go out and get some air or exercise.
  • Continue later.
  • Think of something nice. Or something funny.
  • Give someone a hug.

If they are longer-term things, then think of the following:

  • Pray and tell God what you want. Ask Him for an answer.
  • Trust God to give you what you NEED at the right time!
  • Trust God that you will not fall short.
  • Ask God for patience – it is a gift!
  • Think about it: Do you need a solution right away? If so, consult with others. Otherwise, sleep on it.
  • Set priorities and let go of things that don’t have to be done. Hand over tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do yourself. This takes away stress and helps you to relax.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Good luck and God’s blessing!

For reflection, a few more passages from the Bible:

But we are not only grateful for that. We also thank God for the sufferings we have to take on because of our faith. For suffering makes us patient, but patience deepens and strengthens our faith, and that in turn strengthens our hope. But this hope does not come to nothing. For we have been given the Holy Spirit, and through him God has filled our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5

Having patience is better than being a hero; and ruling yourself is better than conquering cities!

Proverbs 16:32

Patience will get you further than arrogance. Don’t get angry quickly, because only a fool gets angry easily.

Kohelet 7:8b+9a

Merciful and gracious is the Lord, great is His patience and boundless is His love!

Psalm 103:8

And video to relax with:

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