Seek best ways to be patient

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

What does it mean to wait? For some of us, this means biding our time until something we desire presents itself to us. It could be as simple as staring at a microwave while your leftover spaghetti warms up. And it could be as complex as dealing with the challenges of a pregnancy as you hope the child will be healthy.

All of us have tried many things to get through the “in-between” times of life. We distract ourselves so we are not constantly thinking about what we are anticipating. Another tactic is to try to anticipate what life is going to be like once we have reached our goal.

What would it be like if we didn’t just fill in the space between “now” and “not yet” with substantive thought and action . . . or perhaps to simply be quiet? God may have something in mind while we’re waiting. It might even be changing or eliminating the thing we’re waiting for.

I need to confess that I have wasted a good bit of my life not properly waiting. Not only have I been impatient, I have missed the things God wanted me to enjoy while waiting. It hurts to think about all of the opportunities I have wasted.

When our daughter Chele was about 10 months old, I was taking a nap with her on our couch. I had a dream while we were there. In that dream we were on that couch asleep. Every so often within the dream I would wake up and Chele was older by a year or two. This happened a few times. At the end of the dream we both woke up at the same time and she looked like she was a teenager. She said to me, “Daddy, you’re going to fast.”

I remember earlier in the day thinking, “I can’t wait for the day when Chele will be older and we can play outside or go for walks or talk to each other.” There is no doubt my hurriedness impacted my dream.

This quote by Ranier Maria Rilke beautifully speaks to what I believe God wants for our lives in this area: “Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

It is my prayer that all of us desire and actively seek our Lord’s help in knowing how best to be patient.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)