Friday, January 8, 2010

Patience Is a Virtue

Yesterday, I had cleared my calendar to work on some pressing tasks for my business. Since I work from home, taking care of business sometimes slides until it becomes pressing. At any rate, one of those items was to get some quick advice on an e-mail formatting issue that has been annoying both me and my clients. A promised 15-minute fix turned into 90 minutes as a cascade of underlying issues was uncovered, followed by two more, separate 20-minute phone conversations with technical specialists. As of today the issue is still not resolved. But I do have my computer functioning close to where I started yesterday morning.

By the end of that first 90 minutes yesterday, I was completely infuriated and could barely think straight. There were other--and more to the point, money-making--matters that needed my attention. And I was stuck watching someone else poke around in my computer. Frustrating, irritating. My heart was racing. Brain fog was setting in.

Through the fog, one word dropped into my brain.
I was searching desperately for what Job seemed to have in spades (even if he did shake his fist a bit), but I was not finding it. I grabbed my Bible concordance and searched for references to patience.

One that caught my eye was Ecclesiastes 7:8--
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning [oh, yeah, I'm all for the end of this thing];
the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.
"Proud." I can admit to a bit of pride, thinking that I have perfect control over what happens in my day. NOT!

Most of chapters 8 and 9 in Ecclesiastes comprise an ode to the balances in life. Righteousness balancing wickedness, wisdom balancing foolishness. Patience versus a restlessness to be! Reading a bit of the prophet helped to calm me down.

The idea of those grand plans I had also brought to mind one of my favorite of the Proverbs:
The human mind may devise many plans;
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. (19:21)
I finally found my patience by going to the Curves gym and burning off the frustration with a round of weights and aerobics and then joining a team who are planning a 6-week class this winter on knitting and crocheting as spiritual practices. By the time I got home, I was ready to listen to God's plans--and face more technical conversations.

May you have patience as deep as the ocean--or at least access to a Bible and a good workout!

May it be so.

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