Matters of Faith: Patience. Is Yours’ Wearing Thin?



by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 (NIV)

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.


I read an interesting story the other day in God’s Little Devotional Book (Honor Books); “A man’s car stalled in heavy Friday-evening traffic just as the light turned green. All his efforts to start the engine failed. A chorus of honking horns rose from the cars behind him.”


As I thought back to a few times when I was in the stalled. I could not help but to recall how little patience I exercised. I remember anxiety setting in when it was I sitting in a stalled vehicle and how frantically I worked to get that car restarted. I must admit that I could not think of a single time (I’ve been in several stalled cars in my lifetime) that I can say that I patiently sat and waited for assistance. In every case I could think of, I became at least a little impatient.


Then I thought of the many times I was stuck in the car immediately behind the stalled vehicle, and had to admit that it was quite easy for me to remember how difficult it was not to lose my patience. In either and in both cases, whether in the front car or one in the back, my patience was challenged.


On the other hand, if it were my car that stalled, I could have gotten angry at the impatience of the drivers who were seated and honking their horns behind me. And if were me in one of the cars stuck behind, it would be easy to be impatient with the stalled car, even if the driver was unsuccessfully trying time after time to restart the car.  


Patience is an attribute that one can develop. It takes practice so that your reactions are tempered with tolerance, restraint and with patience no matter the event or circumstance. What I like most is that patience can be cultivated and it can be developed. Then it can turn difficult circumstances into comical events. The conclusion of the story of the driver whose car stalled is one case in point; “Feeling Just as frustrated as those other drivers’ eager to get home or to their weekend destinations, he finally got out of his car and walked back to the first driver and said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.’”


Patience is vital to a healthy life. It helps you avoid anxiety, frustration, and self-induced illness, while helping you get through very uncomfortable and disturbing situations. It also can help you maintain a good and healthy attitude. Whether you’re in the stalled car or one of the cars behind it, make up your mind to exercise patience, and by all means, make sure yours’ is not wearing thin.
Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448.

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