What is a virtue? Is it a feel-good sensation that throws you into nirvana? It is feel-good, but it’s more. It’s feel-good plus making others feel good. It’s living, showing, being, acting. Virtue is a verb. We act virtuous. We may be virtuous inside, but until we show it, and live it, the virtue does not become real.
One of the virtues is Patience…
Well how many of us have been stuck in traffic for a dumb reason and we simply want to tell those people who are causing the back-up to “do something, and do it now!”? That’s me. Recently I was stuck in traffic in the downtown core of the city and I couldn’t believe that those traffic people, whoever they are, messed up so badly. This was a Sunday! And – get this – I was on my way home from church! From my vehicle, I was on the phone to the city information line (it was a long wait, more patience needed), then on to the local traffic line of a popular radio station. I was going to expose these people. It was my revenge, my “get even” time.
What was needed was not better traffic control or an expose on incompetence or better traffic lights, but patience – patience from me. We receive messages daily when we are called upon to exercise patience. Do we pay attention? Not when we’re impatient. We’re in a rush. We’re late. Or, in my case, I was simply hungry and wanted lunch.
God speaks to us in so many ways, including in traffic jams. So next time you’re in a traffic jam and late for an appointment, or hungry, or anxious, or simply angry at some stupid driver, stop. Breathe. Ask God, “Why am I here, stuck in traffic?” There must be a reason. Then keep on breathing, and breathing, deeply.
I believe that the Lord has a sense of humour. When he puts us into a traffic jam I can imagine Him saying to Himself, “So, what are you going to do with this extra time in your life? Are you going to exercise patience, or are you going to waste it by fuming and raving?” That’s the moment of truth. We are being tested. Our patience is being tested. Think about it. Patience. It truly is a virtue. And it’s not an easy one.
Share your “patience” or “impatience” story.