Patience in life is our greatest need,
For the many testing times of trial,
Humility’s the thing by which to set life’s speed,
Let’s acknowledge our need beyond every denial.
Possibly the greatest challenge to getting life right is managing our emotions—those things in us that produce anger, frustration, passion, disappointment, etc.
The busiest people in the world have learned that the only way to cope with the busyness of life is to learn strategies for patience. That or they would have burned out already. The most efficient people are, therefore, those who have learned to screen out the vast distractions of life that would otherwise push a less hardy person into the extremes of negative emotion.
These sorts of people have learned to keep the main things of life the main thing in their focus. They have taken a longer view of life. They have become “long of nose.”
The central thesis of the idea I’m presenting here is this: Patience is the most necessary practical virtue and the capability for patience is based in humility.
Humility, when it is all said and done, is that ability to let God be God, and to accept everything of life as it imperfectly is; in perfect, cheerful acceptance. Humility is an ideal; not a thing we ultimately land on with definite surety.
Exploring Humility Through Being Long of Nose
Humility helps us live long-nosed; the ancient Hebrews saw patience as depicted by a person “long of nose.”
Those who were given to long-suffering were given this identification of being long of nose because they were remarkably patient, and the character of their patience was displayed at the height of testing, as is ours.
When we are long of nose we are slow to anger, and we exemplify the qualities of the Lord. We learn a durable surrender, that, when we are faced with circumstances beyond our desire and control, we learn to give way to God with more instinctive distinctiveness.
This is such a rare quality that we only find it honed in the busiest of heroes; those who have learned to live a full life, beyond grasping at the straws of personal opportunity. These have learned to happily give their lives away. This is why faith is underpinned by humility. We cannot go far in faith without surrendering, continually, to the circumstances beyond our desire and control.
Let us be long of nose. Let us become motivated to explore a life of complete an utter surrender, within each second of our practical lives. That is humility. And such a thing will have us advanced into the realm of true patience. Then we will be long of nose.
Patience is not only a virtue; it is the most practical virtue for life. We cannot be considered patient unless we suffer long through trials—to endure testing. What underlies patience is humility; the idea of defying our ego and embracing a selfless surrender before God—every moment of our lives. That’s to be our objective.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.