Patience…a lacking virtue

Why are we so impatient? This has been on my mind recently as I’ve had to wait at railroad crossings when I’m already late for an appointment. I’ve asked the question in check-out lines, Starbucks, Doughnut shops, libraries, even in the context of church. Why are we [I] so irritated by delay? It’s tempting to try to explain our impatience by invoking the argument that our lives have gotten so busy and crowded that a million different things are competing for every nanosecond of our attention. Or that because we have developed such a fast paced, post–MTV, IM attention span, we no longer have the tolerance for long drawn-out processes. Yet – let’s be honest. We are capable of spending hours futzing with our FACEBOOK pages, downloading ringtones, posting photos online and perpetually text-messaging our friends with less than critical information. The hard fact is that our attention and patience is only limited when we are not the central focus of what is going on around us or we are being kept from getting exactly what we want.  We are not impatient merely because we’ve got so much to do and so may places to go. I am thinking we lack patience with things and people because we have become more arrogant, cynical, self-absorbed and greedier than ever. Is that possible?

Sometimes, admittedly — even with best intentions and self-restraint it is extremely difficult to be truly patient. 

3 Responses to “Patience…a lacking virtue”

  1. 1 otakudad
    December 1, 2008 at 5:13 am

    just wanted to say that I thought the “waiting” at the beginning of the service was great. I think it did exactly what you had hoped. (At least it did what I had hoped.) Excellent sermon, dude. 🙂

  2. 2 Marla
    December 3, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Are you the type of person that stands in front of the microwave and tells it to hurry up?

    Instance coffee is just not fast enough for you?

    The express lane is too slow?

    Do you answer the question “What do you notice about people first?” with “That they are in my way.”?

    If you’re impatient with what is in front of you… leave earlier! :o)

    Patience people, patience. Deep breath and c a l m.
    Good things come to those who wait.

  3. 3 HoundDog
    December 27, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Patience is a persistent problem for me. It doesn’t matter if I have very little time or an abundance of time. More times than wanting to admit, I am extremely impatient when driving even when having plenty of time. And there are times when I have very little time and the struggling cashier doesn’t bother me, instead feeling pity for the cashier.

    When I say that patience is a persistent problem, it doesn’t mean that I’m continually impatient with everything and everyone. It is a daily struggle. In reality, it is a barometer. While I often struggle with situations, the outward appearance of patience, or lack of, is an indication of how healthy my connection is with God. Patience seems to be the first fruit that falls when my connection with God is not good.

    While I do need to take the occasional deep breath and manage time wisely, the connection with God is what seems to make the difference for me.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
November 2008
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"No problem can withstand the assault of substantial thinking." Voltaire



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