Thursday 19th February
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord.
“Above all trust in the slow work of God.
We are naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages;
we are impatient to be on the way to something different, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress to pass through stages of instability,
and it may take time.
So trust in the slow work of God, our loving vine dresser.”
-Teilhard de Chardin
May we today remember to be patient with God,
with ourselves, and with those we find trying.
A couple of Sundays ago I preached on Francis de Sales, a 16th Century priest.
I spoke of his teaching that we need to be more gentle with ourselves and each other.
He also said that developing such gentleness requires patience.
“What we need”, he said, “is a cup of understanding
a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.”
The Buddhist Master, Atisha, saw the development of patience has being so important,
that he had his own special method for developing it within himself.
On all his travels he always took with him a very difficult and annoying companion
who was constantly rude and irritating.
Atisha was faithful to this companion because he helped him to develop patience,
and was a good measure as to how much it had deepened.
We may not want to go to the same lengths as Atisha,
but I am sure we all have people in our lives who can do his companion’s job admirably!
(And no doubt we do the job admirably for others)
Let’s allow the irritating moments of this day to become an opportunity
to develop and deepen this great gift of patience.