October 17, 2006
I confess that I am sometimes, too often, impatient.
I further confess that as I have meditated on it, it becomes clear to me that this is not a nice, junior kind of sin (at least not in me). It is a disguise for the sin of pride, the ugliest of all sins, and the most direct rejection of God’s authority and of a humble joy in His provision for me in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me give you a little of my thinking.
I’m sitting in a meeting. I’m sitting there for hours. The meeting would be no different if I were not there. I might think, or even say to someone, something negative about the meeting, or about "our" needing to be there. (Note, this "our" is a cover; I’m thinking of myself.)
Now, let me question my impatient self at this point. Self, just how important does a meeting need to be before you should spend your time on it. Just how crucial does my role have to be, and how frequently, in order for me to not experience the temptation to impatience.
I know that I have to exercise wisdom and be a good steward of time. But look at how much more you’re (I’m) getting at these meetings than I deserve. I deserve Hell! Yet here at this meeting, I’m being cared for. It’s not raining on me. My chair is comfortable. There’s stuff to drink. And yet, I think that somehow it should take less of my time. As if I deserve more interesting fare for spending MY time; as if I DESERVE anything for the expenditure of my time! My response to such situations should be patience. My tendency is to be patient in situations I like. And that’s no patience! Patience is endurance through things that challenge us, and it is rooted in humility, as surely as my impatience is rooted in pride.
I leave you to examine your own impatience. I know that this is one way pride has tried to assume an "acceptable" disguise in my own life, and I’m trying to unmask it. Pray for me.