Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning with a topic I’ve prayed about in the past, but my husband has asked me to pray for help once more. I am impatient—impatient enough so that it affects my life in many areas. Perhaps my impatience began as a child; I was raised in a family of eight, three of them grandparents. As the middle child, if I wanted to be heard, I needed to get things said quickly, take my opportunity, use it, and move on. It was then I developed the habit of completing others’ sentences. Should they pause for a moment, I jumped in and finished their thought.
Increasingly my entire day could be ruined by the experience of standing in a line. If I had a cart with only a few items and so I chose the line that said “20 Items or Less”, I was angry with someone whose cart was filled with far more than 20 items—30? Perhaps even 40? And what about those individuals who seem not to anticipate they would need to pay for their purchases. With apparent shock and surprise at the cashier’s total, they fumble in purses, struggle for check books or credit cards or cash—as if mostly people go through these lines without paying. I can feel the anger and impatience building up in me.
When I drive, those individuals who pass me are obviously reckless with their speed, while those who drive too slow are infuriating, forcing me to tell them so in various ways. Perhaps worse of all are the drivers who go the same speed I want to travel; their presence in front of me hampers my vision and annoys me greatly. I am impatient.
It is this same impatience that affects my relationship with you, Lord. Too often I pray with the answer I want and expect. I’ve made a choice; now make it happen That’s it. I have no time to listen to You, Lord. When I’m done, my prayer is ended. Time to move on to other things.
My relationships with others are affected as well. I shortchange myself regularly. What would I learn if I didn’t finish the sentences of others? What might they have said for themselves? I’ve never had the opportunity to learn from silence—I supply whatever I think needs to be said. Sometimes I wonder what it is I’m hurrying toward. Is it death?
And so I come to you, dear Father, asking for help. I need to live in the moment, to let life unfold at its own pace, without pushing and prodding and urging it to move faster. I tell myself that Jesus waited 30 years for His ministry to begin. Being impatient is a sin—I know that. I am attempting to create the world in my time, not accepting Yours. It is arrogant not to acknowledge the whole person, short-cutting what might be heard. The Bible makes it very clear that we should live in your time, Lord. I’m certain Mary might have preferred to give birth to her son at home rather than on a trip—in a manger? But the Bible makes it very clear “When the days were accomplished that she should be delivered”, she gave birth. Your days, Lord, not hers. When Mary was anxious about the wine at the wedding in Cana and asked Jesus to intercede, He made His feelings clear, “My time has not yet come”. In the fullness of time. Your time, not mine. Help me Lord to live in that fullness—help me live according to Corinthians 13:4—“Love is patient”. May I live in that love—in that patience. Amen