This week I have been thinking about the concept of patience. It seems to me that although “patience” is a virtue, it is very much a double edged sword.
On the one hand, a lack of patience will cause you nothing but grief: make a rash decision because you don’t have the self-discipline to wait and you will most likely suffer the consequences; lose your temper because you don’t get what you want as fast as you want it and you will absolutely reap what you sow.
On the other hand, if you fail to ever take action and assume everything is in “God’s hands” (and I am not saying here that it is, or that it isn’t) you will experience the benefits of patience such as calmness and contentment, but you may wait so long for a thing that is needed that it either arrives too late to be useful, or does not arrive in your lifetime at all.
Once upon a time it is possible that the purpose of life was simply to learn to enjoy the journey but things have gotten a lot more complicated lately. These days we seem to have gotten caught up in a global race for fame and the accumulation of stuff and lost all concept of the journey itself.
And to make matters worse it seems that some of our best “famesters” and accumulators have been unable to sustain their lives – Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, Whitney Houston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Brittnay Murphy all found the pressure of life at the top unbearable.
So what is the middle ground here? Is there a place where you get up each morning and calmly put one foot in front of the next toward some intended destination or goal and actually enjoy the process of doing so?
Does having a long term goal or objective that you know cannot be achieved quickly or by skipping steps make it easier to maintain your patience? Or is patience just an excuse not to push yourself to achieve more, more quickly?
The choice is up to you … but when you do choose whether or not to be patient, you also affect the journey you are on and the manner in which you experience it. So in the end, maybe the purpose of life in this time is simply to experience the consequences of your decisions …