May 7, 2010
Two weeks ago, I was talking with a friend named Anna. She and her husband have been planning the next chapter of their life. She said “We are ready, but patient.” I was taken aback. I wasn’t surprised at her gracefulness or her wisdom, but rather, I was surprised by the mere idea of being “ready” and “patient” at the same time. Is it possible to be both?
Often in life we are ready for something to happen; but are we truly patient? Whether we are a married couple trying for a baby, a high school senior waiting to graduate, an expectant child on Christmas Eve, a businessman working towards a promotion or a mother letting go of her child for the first day of kindergarten, it’s a hard question to answer objectively. We say we’re ready; but are we patient? Probably not.
I think patience is what we can bring into our prayer life as well as our daily life. When we pray to God, most of the time it is for something. We want “X” and we hope He gives us “X” in the timeline most convenient for us. But the truth is that timeline is God’s and God’s alone.
The irony is that while writing this column for May, I re-wrote it over and over again; nothing seemed just right. It took me over a month to write this short article. I was ready for it to be completed. I even thought 5 times about submitting it. But over the past week, I decided to step away to take some time and be patient, allowing myself some breathing room to start again.
Instead of getting anxious, frustrated or angry because things aren’t happening when we want them to, maybe we should take a chapter from Anna’s book and be “ready, but patient.” It is a virtue. Isn’t it?
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.
” – St. Augustine