“PATIENCE IS NOT PASSIVE RESIGNATION, NOR IS IT FAILING TO ACT BECAUSE OF OUR FEAR. PATIENCE MEANS ACTIVE WAITING AND ENDURING.” ––Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Ever been tempted to pray for patience? I have. Then I learned my lesson. I’m not kidding. Don’t ever, ever, pray for patience! Many times in my life I have been in the midst of turmoil and yes, there were moments that I needed a bit of something to get me through one more day, but deep down I knew that what I needed was patience. Dare I ask God to give it to me? I needed it . . . but dare I ask for it? I am a firm believer that God will give us any righteous desire of our hearts if we are willing to do the work to make it happen. This is not always true, but as a general rule, He will give us whatever we want that will better ourselves. I believe that patience lands in this category. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all had a bit more patience? How much road rage would dissipate? How many pregnant moms in their last month would enjoy having the miracle growing inside them? Or for me, right now, I am quite impatient to see how my cover of Inspired by Grace is going to look! Here is a sneak peek at the photo we are using. It has only been two weeks since we had the photo shoot but I can’t wait to see how it will be transformed into a beautiful cover!
Truth is there are some things I have learned over the years when it comes to patience. First of all, patience is not passive. We sometimes think of a patient person as someone who sits and waits. Wrong. Patience requires active effort, everyday! There is nothing passive about it! A patient person does not simply smile and nod as the world moves around them, they are working hard at it, sometimes harder than one who is impatient! For example, isn’t it the truth that when you really need to be somewhere on time, that is when you hit each and every stop light? And the adorable, but too slow, red VW Bug with its top down carrying a sunglass-sporting blonde chatting on the phone you just passed also gets stopped at each one? She looks like she enjoying the first day of spring far too much when you will be late for work! She doesn’t even seem to notice that she is being stopped at every light. But you have nearly counted them and as you punch the gas to get passed that irritating representation of everything you wish you had right now, you get stopped again, and she rolls up next to you just in time for it to turn green. Being impatient is exhausting! But looking at Miss Relaxed-and-going-with-the-flow gal in the red VW Bug makes you frustrated. In the end, you both get to your destination at the same time. But you have just suffered for 12 ½ lights (you finally ran through the last one which you claim was still yellow but we know how it was . . .). My point? It takes an active effort to be patient! There is nothing passive about choosing to be patient. It is a choice! Just like being impatient is a choice!
Another truth about patience is that it is about enduring. Let me tell you a story. I usually run for about 2 ½ miles and one day I took a new path. I had no idea how long I had run but I had my running app that told me every once in a while how far I had gone. One day I took off and turned my music on and prayed while I ran. I was struggling with things in my life and I didn’t know if I could see solutions anytime in the near future. How would I solve the problems? Suddenly my app tells me I have run 2 miles. I had no idea how far I had run since I never mapped it out so I didn’t know when the approximate turnaround point should have been. I made it a few more blocks and started heading home. But I had over 2 miles left before I reached home. Was it possible? I had never ever run 4 miles before and I was a little worried. Here was the answer that came to me. “Head in the right direction and put one foot in front of the other and you will make it home.” I understood that not only did it apply to my excessively long run I ended up on, but it was the answer to my problem I had been praying about! All I had to do was endure it and keep moving in the right direction and I would make it to my goal. It just required a bit of patience. And in this sense, that meant I had to actively (one foot in front of the other) endure (head in the right direction and not veer away from the goal) with patience.
But why choose patience? It is about joy in the journey. Impatience has its consequence but patience has a far better reward. We do not always have answers to our problems but as long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other, we will arrive home. And we will look back at our run with pride and see the growth in our hearts. So whether or not it is being patient with ourselves or with others, choose patience.
I know that good things come to those that actively wait and endure. In the mean time, while we wait for an official cover reveal of my original Regency romance, Inspired by Grace due out in May, (which I was hoping to do with this blog post) I will instead have a giveaway of Mr. Darcy’s Promise. To make you excited for this giveaway, here is a short excerpt about patience in that book.
Good heavens! If she only knew how badly I wanted to take her in my arms! But he could not. Time, he reminded himself again, must be his mantra. Care as she might for him (and he was certain, now, that she did, at least a little), her unwillingness to mention last night’s kiss was a sign that he needed to wait a little longer. Although his body protested that he had already heavily taxed his resources of patience before they had first kissed. How would he manage to moderate his desires?
His lips moved in silent prayer. Dear God, please grant me all the patience I need for her sake. He ended the prayer with a soft, rueful laugh, remembering his old grandmother’s adage. “You should never pray for patience, Fitzwilliam, or you may find yourself in the midst of opportunities to test that very resolve.”
Hope you liked the excerpt! I will give away a copy of Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Second Edition, to one lucky commenter! The winner can choose either paperback (U.S. only) or an eBook (internationally). Tell me what you think of the post, or tell me what you think of the photo we are using for the cover of Inspired by Grace! Either way, COMMENT! Cheers! Good luck in the giveaway!