Love is patient.
1 Corinthians 13:4-- You probably heard it at the last wedding you went to, or have seen it framed in an adorable nursery on pinterest. The verse gives characteristics to love and for some reason it starts with the idea that love is patient.
Yes, “Love is kind, it does not envy or boast, and it is not proud, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres”, but first and foremost, “love is patient”.
Why is that? Why is patience so crucial to love?
Google’s definition of ‘patient’ is: “able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.”
I think patience is important to love, because it’s so easy to be un-accepting and intolerable with the people we love most. It’s probably because we know they’ll love us even after our moments of impatience, but should we allow that to be an excuse? Probably not.
Thinking about it, when was the last time you were impatient? Who was it directed towards and what was it about?
Patience certainly involves grace - people really do move at glacial speeds when we’re in a hurry and don’t always catch on as soon as we’d like them to - but when you really think about that last moment of impatience wasn’t there something else going on?
For me, impatience usually comes from some deeper source of anxiety, but bubbles out as agitation over little things.
So often I live one step ahead of the moment - I’m physically there, but my mind is racing an hour or a month or a year in front of me. And somehow, this disconnect between my body and my mind generates an intense feeling of stress, which then leads to me snapping at my husband or the people who don’t pay attention in line at Starbucks or Al the Dog.
It seems like being patient maybe means settling into your life - like choosing to be being patient maybe has a lot to do with choosing to be present.
Which makes sense doesn’t it? How can we feel at rest or calm in the moment if we aren’t 100% in the moment? How can we feel content with our lives if we’re constantly thinking about what’s next?
Gretchen Rubin, Author of the “Happiness Project” says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
The truth is that where we’re at right now and all that we’re experiencing in this very moment, is important and will be gone in an instant. As a day seems to drag along, our lives really do pass by so fast. How can we figure out how to embrace them? How can we figure out how settle in and choose to patiently live in the moment, because right now, this very second, is once in a lifetime?
That’s my goal currently. All suggestions welcome.