I wrote and memorized a ten minute speech called “The Power of Patience.” I tell my single friends to not settle and to patiently wait on the right guy. I hope that my parents, friends, and teachers will be patient with me when I mess up, change my mind, or show up late. I preach patience.
Yet, I don’t always practice it.
Patience (or impatience) is one of the most difficult things for me to change in myself and consistently work on. I’ve noticed that as much as I want others to be patient with me, I’m not always patient with them. And I’m not really talking about the “timing” kind of patience. As in the “I asked for that right now so go get that for me right now” kind of patience. I’m talking about the kind of patience that we have for people when they mess up or don’t quite meet our expectations. It’s the kind of patience that I would relate to giving someone grace; a loving pardon even when they do not deserve it.
I found myself snapping at my mom this week, and it caused a disconnect between us for a bit. It all goes back to patience, because had I been less demanding, quicker to hear, and slower to speak and anger, we would have been just fine. I complained about the snow almost every time I looked outside the past few weeks, when I could’ve shifted my outlook to being patient with the weather and just appreciating each day. I was starting to feel anxious and sad when I was surrounded by a bunch of cute couples at my school (prom is in a week), and it reminded me that I don’t have a sweet boyfriend taking me on dates. Instead of focusing on “the later” that lasts longer and reminding myself to wait patiently for the guy that God has for me, I was only focused on “the now” that was yelling louder. I continued my waiting, but not with a smile on my face. But then I remembered – sad patience isn’t patience at all. Joyce Meyer put it this way…“Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”
I’m writing this to remind you that everyone is dealing with something. Every single person you meet has less-than-perfect attributes that they need to work on, and odds are, they know it. I’m also writing this to remind you that we’re all hypocrites sometimes. Even the very things that we talk about the most can be the exact things that we ourselves need to fix. I’m writing this to remind you that I’m not perfect, and neither are you. Don’t beat yourself (or anyone else) up about their impatience or their loathing of a season or their inability to serve you right when you want it. Just make a point to notice when you are being an impatient loather and correct yourself. After all, it’s the courageous ones who are able to admit that they can do better.
So yes, I’m a hypocrite sometimes. And I’m not afraid to admit it. I know that I’m human and flawed. However, I know that I’m a beautifully flawed human.
Tonight, think about the thing you preach the most about. Then go practice it.