Sunday, November 29, 2015
As we begin this Advent season, one of the first words which can be heard in the air is, "Be Patient." It is not wonder that this particular season of the liturgical calendar has such a reputation for making us uncomfortable. Colossians 3:12 tells us, "...clothe yourself...with patience..," but the truth is, we do not wear it very well. It does not seem to fit our mindset, our lifestyle, the way we are moving through our life. Just to hear a call to live with patience raises our anxiety level in an uncontrollable way.
The antithesis of patience is, of course, impatience. Perhaps, we are more acquainted with the latter instead of the former. Impatience is what drives too many of us. Impatience is ego driven. It declares that nothing is more important that what I want when I want it which is now and not later. Impatience does not take into account the needs of others, or even the larger good of the community. Impatience is that expression of ourselves which it makes it clear that it is all about me. It can even turn into a narcissistic self-righteousness which excludes the possibility that another expression of faith might have some value or merit. If someone sees the world differently than we do, we have not time or use for them in our lives.
As we struggle in the human realm with this issue, so do we struggle in our spiritual lives. Being patient with God to act has never been an easy thing. Our lack of patience with God often causes us to take matters in our own hands and to do things our way as did Abraham with Hagar. These early Advent days remind us of the certainty of the plan of God. It reaches before us and far out there after us. Life is much less complicated and less stressful if we live within its unfolding nature instead of trying to push it along a little faster.