Monday, December 20, 2010

Patience – The Apex of Life

Is it possible that we’ve missed something very important all along?

Can it be that patience is our secret weapon for life?

We deal at life oh so flippantly when we consider we’re living an eternal existence now. Nothing is insignificant. If we’re to live as we’re supposed to, we’re to live patience. But, don’t dispel the message here, thinking, “I know where this is going.” Don’t miss this.

When I wrote Three Things Important Things Above All I had no idea where it would lead. This article is a follow-up to that one, but it’s also precursory.

Patience – High Above Life

My hope is that I can show you that everything in life in terms of success and wellbeing—however they’re defined—comes down to patience. This is a sweeping statement with intentionality. There are three key ways I aim to show patience is the nexus of life:

1. Giving to Others

When giving is apparent, which is necessary for relationships to work, patience is fuel for the venture. The more patience there is the more and better giving is. Or, in other words, patience thinks less of itself and its own needs and it thinks more of others and their needs.

Part of the idea for life is giving also to God and to the self. God loves the generous giver for the fact that they’re thinking humbly. Humility is not so much thinking lowly of one’s self as it’s thinking of others as equal. This is the right balance as far as life’s concerned. This attitude helps in the giving; patience is the vehicle to humility.

2. Exercising Self-Control

Patience is the core ingredient of delaying gratification; the Westerner’s biggest challenge.

Self-control is a necessary function for the successful life, one which is sure of itself. It pervades over what is consumed and it regulates life with precise command. The trouble is most people have at best itinerant self-control. Therein lays the opportunity. To become more self-controlled there is a need to exercise actual patience in the practice of daily living. This is not easy unless we take living life a moment at a time... no cliché intended!

Self-control is not just important from consumption and personal viewpoints. Patience helps self-control realise what is said is crucial to relationships. Patience doesn’t dive in to say the oft-regretted thing (though people are bound to slip up in speech every once in a while).

Self-control is also augmented via patience when things suddenly get perplexing. Maintaining spiritual equilibrium is a key to overall wellbeing. This is a great lead-in to the next topic.

3. Exhibiting Situational Resilience

When the moment is tipped on its edge and the mind and heart are dissonant and awry there’s the critical instant where patience can be slotted in to correct the situational imbalance. This is the mature minute.

Hardly ever do people realise that upsets and depressions are a series of these moments. At any time patience can be enrolled and the chain-of-spiritual-compromise is broken through. Add to this resilience another chain-breaking segment of patience, and another and so on, and resilience materialises.

Epitomising God Who Is “Perfect Patience”

Patience is unearthing the mode for life. Jesus, of course, was known by Cyprian of Carthage (the Early Church Father) as “perfect patience.”

Casting the mind back to where this story started, the linkages have been shown. The nature of God is patience; the more people can show in their manner of living that same consistency of patience, the more true success and wellbeing can be realised.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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