The Art of Patience

We live in a fast-paced world. Thanks to technological advancements that have transformed our living conditions. We now have a lot of options to choose from to get our tasks done. Time-consuming and labour intensive tasks can be achieved with just a few taps and the result comes with great finesse and beauty than what we get if it were done the old way.

There is really no need to wait or be patient to get something done. It has gotten to the extent that even if our mobile phones (or Smartphones as we like to call it) fails to load on time, we scream and fume at the poor little thing.

Since we don’t have to wait to achieve our aims, why then is patience important?

An ageless premise states that patience is the hallmark of great living. Is this relevant to us in this technologically advanced age? This prompted me to ask: “What exactly is Patience?”

Thanks to technology, at that instant, I got answers from Google. According to it.

Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

I had to reread the definition to fully grasp the meaning. The words in bold caught my attention and I started to ponder on them; it did take a little time for me to conclude that patience is an attitude, art and virtue.

Patience is an attitude because it goes beyond just waiting, it entails what you do while waiting. From the definition, you need to possess the capacity to tolerate and accept.

A patient man is rest assured of the eventuality and understands the fact that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, he will get to the destination. He doesn’t skip spots on the queue or tries to play smart on people’s intelligence. He is calm. He displays wisdom in managing situations and people. He tolerates, without discomfort, people’s display of ignorance or flagrant show of stupidity. He takes it all with a smile and nods in affirmation. He accepts the inevitable and finds a way around them. He solves his problems with great skill and wisdom. He listens attentively to everything that has to be said before he makes his judgment. He doesn’t vent his anger immediately. He takes the time to consider his actions first. He may be criticized for being slow but he understands that the output is equally, if not more, important than the time to achieve it.

Patience is not foolishness. In fact, it is one of the hallmarks of a wise man. The wisest man that ever lived said: “whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly” (Proverbs 14:29 NIV). You can see that you waiting for the due process when you can rush your way through doesn’t make you foolish even if you were thought to be. To the wisest man, a quick-tempered man is foolish. You would not want to be foolish, would you?

Anger and Anxiety are power twins that impatience gives birth to.

Whenever we reach our wits ends, we launch out like a rampaging flood; destroying everything that blocks our way till we get want we want. Do you remember any time you wanted something so badly and you couldn’t even see any gleam of light and you went all the way to get it? Re-evaluate your actions, do they end well? What was the aftermath of all you did? You would realize that you have done more harm than good to others and even to yourself. Paul in Philippians 4:6 reminds us to “be anxious for nothing…”.

Why then is Patience such a big deal? It is because it is an Art! Something you must do consistently. It is a skill acquired through practice. Those you find to be extremely patient today didn’t just begin the journey today.

Our default mode is impatience; we just want it to be fast no matter what. And if that is not, then trouble is brewing.

Like I always say, start with little things. Your phone is hanging, wait for it! You are in the queue for something, maintain your position. Don’t try to play smart. Follow the due process.

You are expected to teach a young one, be patient with him. Don’t scream at him. Explain to him as much it is needed for him to understand. Watch out because when we grow impatience and rush, we tend to escape the sweetness and fun of life. We are so busy with how we want to escape the situation that we don’t even see the beauty of the skyline, the innocence of a little one trying so hard to understand the chunk of information that is communicated to him. If we keep an attitude of impatience, we would not be able to enjoy where we are on the way to where we are going just as Joyce Meyer titled a book of hers, “Enjoy Your Journey: Find the Treasure Hidden in Every Day”. But this is easier than said; you have to make conscious choices to be able to do that.

The idiom “look before you leap” is an effective antidote. Take your time to check carefully and understand why you have to wait.

Sometimes, you may not have the time to fact-find, simply accept and move on. Life isn’t hard if you don’t take it as such. There are always reasons why there is a waiting process. The purpose for your actions is also a grip you can hold on to. But what is most important is your commitment to be patient.

Patience is an attitude and art but it will forever remain a virtue, a blessed one indeed. Out of it springs forgiveness and forbearance. Even love is patient! Patience makes you tough, it strengthens you emotionally. It is a measure of how emotionally secured you are. If you don’t know why you have to be patient, take this: You need the patience to survive and thrive on this planet and yet be of eternal relevance.

I will conclude with these words:

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting; that is Laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow- that is patience!

I’ll be waiting for you at the top!

How would you define patience and what the journey has been like for you? Feel free to share in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.


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