My niece, who is much younger than me, is also much wiser than me. It amazes me her worldly knowledge. She has this uncanny knack to touch the heart of an issue and make it beat. The other day I posted something on Facebook for about five seconds and then deleted the post. It sounded a bit self-serving and like I was in the midst of a pity party, which I was. I have used Facebook like that in the past, and it just has this pathetic tone I try to avoid. My niece caught my five second post and sent me a separate email….an email chockfull of wisdom. Not only is she wise, her timing is impeccable.
My posting asked people out there for ways in which I can gain patience besides through prayer. God knows, literally, how often I pray for patience. You see, I am one of THE most impatient persons you will ever meet. I have gotten better at controlling it – what a word to use as I think at the heart of my impatience is the inability to control and I am all about the control.
I am not impatient with people. I am at my calmest around kids, especially those who struggle. In fact, I find my Zen in them which is probably the universe telling me something; I’m just probably too impatient to listen. I am not one of those people annoyed with the elderly. Okay, sometimes I am with the ones who drive. I do think there is a time to give up those car keys. I am not impatient with my friends who need advice or a shoulder to cry on. I think I am a good friend that way. So, with people, my patience is in tact. It’s with situations, again things beyond my control, that my little yellow monster comes out. Hey, if green is envy then yellow is impatience. Yellow reminds me of a yellow stoplight telling us to slow down to a stop…something I rarely do because you know….I’m impatient!
I tend to want things when I want them and to hell with what the situation dictates. I want to go when the traffic is like a parking lot. I want to my food now when I’m hungry and my sugar level is dropping. I want to get in and out of that gas station and not wait for some teenaged boy to detail his windshield with one of those windshield wiper squishes thingies. I want the darn Cubs to win the World Series. Okay, that last one you cannot fault me for. Over 100 years is a long wait. Mother Theresa would loose patience if she was a Cub’s fan. Mostly, I don’t want to have to wait for my dreams.
Being a Walter Middy in an impatient body is not a good thing. Frustration can be a common experience. Love to dream. I do it all the time. But when I do, the results don’t come fast enough for my liking. Take getting my completed book published. It is so not happening fast enough for me. I have queried agents – the process of gaining an agent’s interest in one letter. So much pressure on a 250 word letter, but it is part of the game and I try to play it well. So far, it seems, I have not played it well enough. I have gotten one bite which ended in a statement of “great book, BUT…” The dot, dot, dot is what drives me and my impatience crazy! I need to live my dream as a writer and I need it NOW! Yes, it does sound like I am having a tantrum of a two year old. ( Did I mention I am quite good at tantrums? Most impatient people have those down to a spectator sport.) So, I need to figure out how to wait for this dream to come to fruition and with dignity and really, truly believing the world will unfold the way it should. Not just the way I think it should. I pray for that every day, or did, until I got my wise niece’s email.
My niece shared with me words she was once told. She wrote “stop praying for patience because God’s answer tends to be more opportunities to practice being patient”. I know! Powerful, right? In other words, be careful of what you pray for and listen to God’s answers the first or second time around else She will give you more examples until you do understand – at least that what I got out of my niece’s advice. If I think about it more, sometimes, God’s answer is to wait for it. Yeah, not good with that one either, but I’m going to keep trying….with a little patience.