PATIENCE is a virtue lacking in seemingly all people, cultures, to every corner of the world. We are all either getting there or going there. But we need to ask where ‘there’ is. We covet all too many goals, purposes, and potential outcomes.
We say to ourselves, “I will relax at the next thing,” and then that comes and we don’t afford ourselves the luxury of relaxing; we are more likely to chase the next thing, and then the next, and so on, until we are tired and fatigued enough to say enough is enough. We miss our opportunities for rest and contentment. What we need is:
Patience will get us through, but patience, of itself, will get us nowhere if we don’t already have vision of where we are going to.
Instead of the next thing, our vision should be of heaven to covet. Instead of looking ahead at the next thing, we are invited, by the Lord our God, to look up and to covet the only desire we were ever destined to covet.
Heaven and Hell in Plain View
When we begin to see life just two possible ways – one way to look ahead (or behind) and the other way to look up – our choice is relatively simple. We go one way or the other.
With heaven in plain view – that is, to look up – we have the way of patience. There is no striving because we are enjoying the simple and unadorned moment, naked as it is. No frills – that’s good enough.
But with hell in plain view – that is, to look ahead and keep incessantly looking ahead – we are cursed with frustration, because we never get anywhere.
We are always striving but never arriving, or when we do arrive we cannot stop striving. We just don’t rest there and enjoy the view. Whereas, with heaven in plain view we enjoy the patient moment even though we haven’t achieved anything other than the serenity that was eternally promised us.
When we look at heaven and hell in plain view, in these ways, the decision as to which way to go should be easy. With heaven in plain view we are blessed, but with hell in plain view, insisting on going that way, in our frustration, we are almost certainly cursed.
Heaven is a thing to covet. Nothing else is worthy of our worship. When we covet heaven we look up in our struggle, somehow knowing patience is the way there. Everything else other than God is vanity. When we stop striving we start arriving – at blessed contentedness.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
Graphic Credit: Jay-Peg.