The Strength of Patience
One crucial virtue to cultivate is patience. Without patience, we're going to find ourselves in trouble time and again.
Patience is even more critical in our fast-paced, modern-day world in which so many things are available to us at the click of a button. Wanna order food? Click a button. Wanna shop online? Click a button. Wanna watch your favorite movie for the thousandth time? Click a button. Need a vehicle to pick you up? Click a button. You can even track where these things are in many cases- something that's useful but can also produce a kind of obsession.
Technically, most of us are doing these things on our smart devices, so we're not really clicking anything so much as we're tapping on our screens, but the sentiment remains the same- we have so much of the world available to us just by a simple gesture.
The consequences of not having to wait for anything can be devastating. I grew up in a world slightly before the true advent of the internet as we currently know it, and certainly far before the world of smart devices and things like DoorDash and GrubHub and Uber. I recall when things took time because that's just how things were. I'm not waxing nostalgic about that era; I'm only pointing to my memory, that I know what it's like to have to wait out of necessity.
I can't imagine what it's like to grow up in the world as it is currently and not have to wait for much...only to be faced with something like spiritual training or education or anything that still requires a huge investment of time and energy. It's one thing to know about that as a general reality. It's another thing to suddenly run into it without any realization that it's just how things are.
So patience is the virtue to cultivate. Seasons like Advent and Lent help to teach us this. They're part of the spiritual path encapsulated in a microcosmic, liturgical expression.
Of course, I should take a dose of my own medicine- when I'm waiting in line or stuck in traffic or something, patience is of the utmost necessity. Breathing deeply, recalling that the Divine can be experienced everywhere and in all situations.
I'll leave you to ponder these things.
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