Next to the Crucifix on the wall in front of my sewing machine is this quote:
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.
St Francis de Sales
When I was thirteen, maybe fourteen, I uttered the prayer, “God please help me grow in patience.” As one might expect the opportunities to learn to be patient have never really ended. I do find it fascinating that our Lord gave me that insight at that age, and that I remember where I was when I prayed that prayer, how bright the sun was in that moment. I’d love to remember what led to that moment of asking for patience, however methinks that is not as important as the asking.
Love is patient, Love is Kind
Patience exemplifies kindness, grace, and mercy. Patience offers the other time to think, extends the opportunity to grow, and listens when a story is told the fifth or tenth time. Patience asks leading questions. Patience waits for an answer when none seem forthcoming. Patience is understanding that there may be things that need to happen.
Learning patience with others allowed me to take over training new ministers at the ministry. Most of the trainees were much older than me, which required me being patient with myself and a bit of, ahem, attitude because of the age difference.
Having patience, being patience requires, no demands, a level of trust not only in God but in those I am working with. Trusting God that this will all work out no matter what the journey is getting there. Trusting that, while frustrating or even painful, the timing will work. Patience means doing something over, and over again til ya get it, it becomes intuitive because it’s something you do.
Now is the time to learn patience with myself, and with God. One might consider that patience with God is a given. Nope. It’s not. When I start thinking of God as some mystical unicorn Santa Clause that grants my every wish and whim I lose patience. When I stop that nonsense, become patient then I can prayerfully approach God with my needs. I can trust that some answers will be, “yes”, and some will be “no” and still others will be, “not yet” with the same confidence.
Thankfully God has given me quilting to help learn to be patient, to remind me that patience is essential to the process of learning. And learning how to be patient, loving, kind. And oddly enough have enough sticktuitiveness to work through problems as they come up. Quilting requires a willingness to listen to the quilt, and what it wants. Or to use the seam ripper, change fabrics.
Being a quilting teacher and working in quilt shops offer a lot of opportunities to grow in patience.
Printing that quote and hanging it on my inspiration wall was for the moment when I did it, and for now. Impatience is making itself known in some deep ways, and it’s time to remedy this. To exercise the patience muscles and wait for Our Lord to show me what’s next. You may be amused to know that while writing this post on patience I’ve checked my email at least four times for an email I’m waiting for. Sheesh.
Thank you Lord for this insight, during Lent, when I needed the reminder most. Thank you that my Sweetie has pointed this out. And that You have placed him in my life for times such as these. Amen.