A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Slow and Steady

Posted on: April 28, 2014

In a world where so much is instant, or at least quick—such as coffee from single-serve machines, pre-cooked bacon, or high-speed Internet access—we can easily forget the value of things that take longer to make. And the skills that making them requires.

For example, we get used to buying our clothes and baked goods. I remember the wonderful clothes my mother used to make for me with her sewing machine, but I have no talent for sewing. And when people tell me they enjoy the bread or cookies I make, sometimes they admit they don’t know how to bake without using a mix.

But there’s one thing in particular that we don’t value enough today: patience.

Patience is something I struggle with. If I’m stuck in traffic on the road or sidewalk or wait more than a few minutes in line, I get frustrated because I’m anxious to reach my destination, and it has nothing to do with being on time. And it seems that, more and more often, we cut off other drivers in traffic, heave great sighs as we wait for our turn at the library checkout, and fire off e-mails a bit too quickly.

We find it increasingly difficult to stand in line, to wait for items we’ve ordered to arrive, to delay gratifying our wishes. Unfortunately, that also means we’re quicker to lose our temper.

But James 1:19-20* has a timely reminder for us:

Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.

Slow doesn’t come easily to us these days. But when we’re too quick to speak or to become angry or frustrated, we may not give someone the chance to apologize or explain. We may miss out on something important our children are trying to tell us with their words or their behaviour. We may not give our colleagues the opportunity to share ideas that would benefit the group. We may ignore the fact that someone else’s need is more pressing. And we may say or do things we’ll regret later.

I pray that God, through the Holy Spirit, would teach us how to slow down and practise the virtue of patience.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

~ Galatians 5:22-23

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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1 Response to "Slow and Steady"

Great post. I definitely could use a bit more patience in my life 🙂

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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