Sometimes the smallest incidents reveal the deepest secrets. I was standing at the cross walk in front of our condo with my two sons in a double stroller, when a woman walked up and pressed the button to cross the street, “beep.” I had already pushed the button before she arrived, but I just smiled and waited for the light to change. “Beep, beep,” again the same woman pressed the button twice more. When the light did not change, she went in for another round, “beep, beep.” I could tell that she was getting upset that her desire to cross the street was not instantly gratified. In my younger days, I would have said, “you know, it’s on a timer don’t you. You can press it until it plays Mozart, but the light will not change any faster.” Instead, I just watched the light for crossing traffic turn yellow, then red. Then the left turn light lit up, but still the disembodied red hand mocked us from across the 4 lane expressway. “Beep,” the woman poked the button one last time in anger.
After dropping my kids off at school, I returned to the same cross walk. “Beep,” I pressed the button. I started to think about how much work I had to do at home after I cleaned up the breakfast dishes. “Beep,” I unconsciously pressed the button again. Have you ever done this? Why do we do this?
I would argue that we are those of “little faith” and little patience. I have actually pushed the button once and thought that maybe the machine didn’t catch the first push, so I pushed it again. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In blogging, they say that if you post consistently, write good content, and read and comment on other blogs, then you will build up a following. Yet if you are anything like me, you check your page hit stats 10x a day and every 10 minutes after you “like” or comment on another blog. In dating, how many people freak out if they don’t get a text the day after an enjoyable date?
I really believe that one of the keys to life is being able to put in a request to the Universe and let it happen. Press the button once and have faith that the monster red hand will turn into the little green strolling man. One of my favorite passages in the Bible reminds me of this secret: James 1:2-4.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into trials;
I interpret the last line to mean “with perfect patience we will lack nothing.” We will have EVERYTHING if we can just master patience. In Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, the main character becomes a huge success in business and wins the love of the most exclusive courtesan in the land with only three skills: “I can think. I can wait. I can fast.” When we press that cross walk button over and over, we are neither thinking nor waiting. Wouldn’t the wait in the drive-thru at In-and-Out Burgers be so much more enjoyable if we could think, wait, and fast? Patience puts the whole world in our hands–the world becomes our oyster that we don’t have to pry open because we have the patience to wait for the pearls to drop into our hands. (I think I just broke about every rule in writing in the last sentence–mixed metaphors and repetitions and cliches, oh my!)
I should let you know that while writing this post about patience, I checked my stats three times. If you have any battles or victories with patience, feel free to share.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.