Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Differences

Someone recently asked me, “What do you think the difference is between faith and patience?”

My response in part…

For me, “faith” is spiritual and deals with God. My faith holds that God exists, without question.

I rarely (if ever) say (or think or feel) something like, “I have faith What’sHis/HerName will do the right thing.” Rather I will think/say, “I hope What’sHis/HerName will do the right thing.” And then, it’s when “patience” comes in to play.

[NOTE: I hope a lot!]

“Patience” is twofold.

One side applies to me, i.e. having patience with myself. Doing what I can, the best I can, and letting it go when I’m not perfect, or something I’m working on doesn’t work out the way I had envisioned. I can only keep trying to be a better person than I was yesterday.

Then the other side applies to my expectation of others when I’m also involved. Having patience takes deep breathing (rather than grinding teeth!) and the constant reminder I am not on the same timeline, or share the same priorities, and there is nothing I can do about it, no matter how hard I try and change things.

Which immediately brings to mind The Serenity Prayer, especially the part:
“…accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can…”

I’ve recently realized this same “side” of patience, that is, when someone else is involved, also includes the understanding of the situation. It also falls into the “things I cannot change” category. It’s not forcing someone else to be in the “real” world with me, but rather me be in their world.

How would you respond to the question?

Sometimes it’s hard for me to be patient with others.

It’s never hard to have faith.

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