Impatience is built into our culture. We eat fast food, use the self-checkout lines in grocery stores, pay extra for overnight shipping, hit the horn when the light turns green. This impatience takes its toll on our spiritual lives, and we all long to somehow become more patient. But how?
- Ask yourself the right questions: is this thing making me impatient really important? What’s behind my sense of rush and urgency? Sometimes just checking your feelings against reality is helpful.
- Remind yourself that God is in control, even when we feel out of it. Perhaps especially when we feel out of it! God sees the whole picture, while we only see a tiny bit of it. We’re not the ones running the world, and we’re only hurting ourselves when we try to.
- Live in the present moment. Stuck in traffic? Instead of thinking ahead to being late for an appointment, ask yourself what God wants you to be doing with this time right now. Is there something to learn? A prayer to say? An idea to have?
The poet W.H. Auden wrote, “Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.” Finding patience in our everyday lives is an everyday grace. And you can do it!