Sometimes we believe we have a lot more patience than we do. It is only when put to the test can we truly identify if we are lacking in this area. All the more important is the attitude we maintain when we are forced to wait. Are we calm and composed or irate and distracted? Do we overlook the feelings of others in pursuit of what we want?
I know, hands on heart that I do not have an overflow of patience and I am learning – often the hard way. As a teenager my mum always told me I needed to learn patience and I casually allowed her comments to run over me. The number of times she uttered “patience is a virtue” I do not know!
It is far easier to have little patience as a child and teenager as people almost expect it. As an adult a lack of patience is not welcomed. It is assumed our ‘people skills’ are more in tune and that our sense of awareness grows. But does it?
My husband always jokes that I act like I am on a mission. Even when on holiday/family breaks I struggle to take leisurely strolls and instead walk as if I have a train to catch. He holds my hands to slow me down. On the outside I smile and internally I feel irritated at not keeping at a faster pace.
Last week I walked down the high street and got stuck behind two women who slowly stolled side by side without a care in the world. I felt myself becoming agitated as I planned a way to get around or through them.
A few months ago at the end of our church service, an elderly woman stopped to speak to me. A part of me desired to rush off to meet my husband and collect our children from Sunday School. I then had a thought that perhaps this woman needed to talk, even if it was just general banter. We spoke for about 10 minutes. As we drove home I wondered if the woman was married or if she lived alone. I wondered if her only real communication with others took place at church. Whatever her circumstances she made me reflect on my actions and that is never a bad thing.