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patience

Impatience is a Virtue…

I’ve been reminded of an advert from about ten years ago which claimed that patience was for yesteryear, now impatience is a virtue. This advert has come back to me a number of times as I have thought about how telling it is of our society in some ways. The immediacy of communication has made us impatient for news and information, as well as for material items – why wait when we could have it now? I am beginning to realise how ingrained this perspective has been in my own attitudes, despite understanding myself as a fairly patient person…well, with some things!

As I walked around part of the parish earlier in the week, I felt the impatience of others so keenly, and it began to surface in me as well.

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Impatience of parents, trying to get through the tasks of the day with children who are also impatient as they would much rather be doing something else; older children playing out, struggling when things do not go their way; the impatience of many with a welfare system which affords them very little, despite hard work or ill-health and; even the impatience of those providing services because it is the twentieth time someone has complained to them about x, y or z this morning. These are just some examples…

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My own impatience manifested itself through a deep desire to act now, to do something –  anything – for those who were struggling. Why wait on God when I could just roll up my sleeves and get cracking? I could do some practical things to make a real difference in some people’s lives here and now…. But what about tomorrow, when I couldn’t do those things, when I wasn’t around?

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This building site as a symbol of the early stages of building and the need for strong foundations reminded me that those things that are worthwhile cannot happen overnight, as well as giving an echo of the impatience that those waiting for their houses to be built may feel!

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Ministry is not like a game of pool, when whoever pots all of their balls followed by the black wins. I was thinking about how much easier that would be, as I played pool with our 13+ group (not that I was so skilled, sadly!).

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There are times when the phone rings, and it is appropriate to drop everything to be where you are needed. It is a real privilege when that happens and people let you into their lives in all of their grief and sadness, and I am so grateful for the times that that has happened this week.

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More often though, I wonder whether ministry is like ironing shirts – it takes time and patience to do it properly, and even when it is done another shirt will not be far behind!

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I perhaps had not realised how impatient I can be sometimes, and there has been much to reflect on around my approach to ministry this week. No longer am I an ordinand, in one place for a very short time. I am not chasing ideas for portfolios, essays and presentations. This is the long haul, and it is essential to wait on God and capture God’s vision and God’s ministry in this place. Afternoon tea on my day off stopped me in my tracks and reminded me of this…God did promise the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey!

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So what does God’s place, or the Kingdom of Heaven, look like? People running to catch buses, frustrated when they miss them, children screaming at one another, people shouting at one another? Or people showing love, care, joy, peace, patience and kindness? How can we encourage this, rather than reacting to the impatience in our communities and wider society?

Impatience is a Virtue

Impatience is a virtue
Did no-one tell you
Patience is so yesteryear
Just for those who fear
All that is exciting or taboo

What good can come
From a patient hum
A steady stroll through life
Avoiding fun and strife
You might as well be numb

Get out there and live
You have to give
All of yourself to the cause
Sing until you are hoarse
Let go of all that is negative

Then you are caught
In a cycle fraught
With danger and dis-ease
Ceasing to please
All around who thought

Impatience is a virtue…
Patience is a virtue
Possess it if you can!

Endure


‪#611 #day27 of #lentchallenge with @bible_society #endure as #persist Charcoal is not my strength, and this isn’t finished but it’s a start‬

Patience

‪#604 #day21 of #lentchallenge with @bible_society #patience as learning new skills with #lasercraft on #prisonchaplaincy placement‬

Wait

‪#597 #day15 of #lentchallenge with @bible_society #wait as #watchingpaintdry #patience #getthereintheend ‬

The art of being with…

#507 I’ve been struggling to be #patient over the last few days and have been reminded about #being in the moment rather than looking to the next thing! These kaki are hung to dry out in the sun for a few months, and patience is essential for a sweet dried fruit…it doesn’t make the waiting time any easier though!

#225 The #dropspindle is something you don’t see around so much these days. The method for spinning yarn here creates a softer yarn than you would usually get, but it takes time and requires #patience. It’s also unusual so people sometimes dismiss it at first sight. It can be those things that take time and require patience, that aren’t so easy to get to grips with, that help us to grow. What is your drop spindle at the moment, that which requires a lot of patience but will be well worth it in the end? (at Ripon College Cuddesdon)

#20 Patience is a virtue…more difficult by car! This morning we drove into the Peak District for one last time before we move. It was so incredibly busy and slow on the road with cyclists, motorbikes and slow vehicles eager to take in the countryside… I must confess to being slightly impatient! I clicked in to morning prayer this morning only to find the reading for today was about patience!!!! “Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.” Hmmm…that’s me told!
#patience #virtue #sundaydrivers #grace

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