Ed Aponte Columnist
I often wake up with an urgent need to be present to the season of my life. What is it that I’m up to now? What are my goals right now, and where am I on my plan or path to getting what I say I want?
I’ve realized the hard way that if I am not present I can easily make up that I have an abundance of time to get anything done. So I intentionally plan and take actions around getting things done in a timely manner, as if I did not have all the time in the world.
The other side of the sword shows up as impatience. I know that I do not have all the time in the world. And when others appear to act as if they do, it triggers a reaction from me. I look at them and wonder, “Don’t you get it? The clock is ticking!” If left unchecked, my impatience can spill into all the areas of my life. I get frustrated driving my 4-mile commute to work, or with my kids or with my close relationships.
Impatience can then be a thief to the abundance of gratitude all around me. More often than not, I’m impatient because of an unmet expectation, something I expected of someone. At these times, I’m unable to be grateful for something I expected. Because of my brother Craig Jones (The Gratidude), who blogs about gratitude biweekly, I have come to believe that a life well lived is a life full of gratitude.
I have embraced the concept of infinite patience. Instead of operating under the assumption that my patience will run out I am embracing that my patience has no end. So even when I fail and become short with someone, I still know that the well of patience is always full and at my disposal.
I have also shifted my context to one that assumes you are one of mine. Think of it as family, employee, church member, or men. You are one of my people. So when someone does something that triggers me, it’s easier for me to show them grace and patience. Lastly I assume that in this world there are other ideas and other ways to do or think about things. It’s easier for me to be patient if I’m trying to understand someone instead of judging them.
The other day I was lying in bed with my daughter Isabela who is 13, and the subject came up of similarities. We were discussing the traits she believes she has or not and from whom she thinks she gets them. We went over the physical traits quite easily, and finally there was a pause in the conversation. She looks at me and says, “I wish I was patient like you Daddy.” She continued: “When I talk to you I feel like you really listen to what I have to say and are not in a hurry to tell me what you think about it until I ask for it. You look at me and just let me rant on and act as if what I have to say matters.”
It took all I had in me not to make her wrong.
Well that’s not me! Can’t be! I’m not patient … or am I?
What I realized is that if I’m intentional about holding a context then it will show up in my life. People are looking at me and you and seeing how we show up. They want to see what context we choose. They want us to back up our words with our actions.
So I invite you to come have a drink with me. You know from where?
Hold on. Wait for it…
The well of Infinite Patience!
Stay thirsty my friend.