Monday Morning Devotion-November 8, 2021
A patient person shows great understanding. But a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness. Proverbs 14:29
Talk about being patient. Fans of the Atlanta Braves baseball team waited 26 years before their team won the World Series crowning them as World Champions of baseball.
Well, maybe not all of their fans were patient over those long, difficult years. But I'm sure they are all happy now and are celebrating the win in 2021.
In his book The Wisdom of Faith the late great football coach Bobby Bowden wrote that patience is the "art of waiting well." He is quick to add: "Blessed are those who can do so."
As Bobby points out we all know what it is to wait. In fact, in my case the two years I spent in the U.S. Army certainly verified that statement. "Hurry up and wait" seemed to be the motto of that branch of the service. Can't speak for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.
I might add that I was very fortunate never to have been on the front lines or involved in combat. Not sure that phrase would apply in those critical situations. Bless all those who were involved in those critical areas of service.
Waiting is inescapable. We can't avoid it. After many years of waiting, waiting and then waiting some more you would think we would get good at it or at least improve in waiting well.
Of course, it requires patience to do that. How patient are you? Depends on the situation doesn't it.
The dictionary defines patience as: "The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset." Oh, just that! Piece of cake, right. Hardly.
Four good reasons to develop patience are:
1) Patient people enjoy better mental health.
2) Patience becomes a form of kindness
3) Patience helps us achieve our goals
4) Patience is linked to good health.
Bobby says: "As we become more accustomed to immediate gratification other traditional factors play into our modern age of impatience." He points out that laziness slips in if we are not careful. We get to having things our own way, then when that changes we lose patience.
And we have to admit there is a bit of selfishness involved when patience wanes because we want things done our way and on our schedule. That view can easily sap our patience.
There are many verses of scripture in the Bible that stress the importance of patience. Some of the words that the Bible associates with patience include: endurance, perseverance, steadfastness and fortitude. Notice that those are all action words.
Let me share a couple of scriptures with you that accent the importance of being patient:
A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict, but a man slow to anger calms strife.
The end of a matter is better than its beginning; a patient spirit is better than a proud spirit. Don't let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:8-9
There are some things we can do to help with patience. Slow down is one piece of advice that makes sense. Sometimes it seems like we are rushing from one place to another while trying get one thing done so we can tackle another one. It's hard to be patient with that kind of mentality pushing us. To develop patience make a conscience effort to slow down. Keep getting things done just don't try for a world record in everything you do.
Stop doing things that are not important. Look at your schedule. Is everything on there very important. Prioritize eliminating things of lesser importance and do them at another time when you don't have as many key things on it,
Be mindful of the kinds of things that make you impatient. Those drive-you-up-the-wall things that color your day in a different light and test your patience. Eliminate as many of those as you can.
Most of all relax. Take deep breaths°slow deep breaths can calm the mind and the
Here's a story about how patience wins and impatience loses. I may have used this somewhere before in the 15+ years of writing devotions, but it won't hurt to repost it. Read it in Coach Bowden's book. It's a typical Bobby story, the kind he always delighted in telling and told very well:
"Three women arrived at the pearly gates of heaven at the same time. St. Peter, the gatekeeper greeted them and asked them to wait before being admitted he had another pressing matter to deal with. As it turned out the delay became very lengthy.
When he came back he apologized and asked the first woman if she minded the wait. She said: 'Oh know I have waited a lifetime to get to heaven. I was thrilled just to stand by the pearly gates.' Peter said, that's great now I have just one question to ask you. How do you spell God? She replied: G-O-D. Excellent said Peter . You may go in.
He approached the second woman who said the wait was no problem at all, she is just excited to see who is inside. So Peter said I just have one question to ask you before you can be admitted How do you spell God? Why, it's G-O-D she answered, and she was allowed to enter.
When approached the third woman, apologized for the wait and asked if it had been a problem. She got real huffy and unloaded. 'This is typical of every place I've been. All they do is make you wait. I had to wait in line to vote, to get in the movies, at the grocery store. Now I get here and the first thing that happens is more waiting.
Peter said, sorry for the inconvenience but there's one more thing, I must ask you a question. 'What is it she growled?"
Peter said: "How do you spell Czechoslovakia?"
Obviously, patience is rewarded even in Heaven.
Prayer: Lord grant us the patience to do things the right way giving each person and each situation the proper attention to ensu a great experience. Amen!