I must say that this “Life’s Lesson” is one that is hard for me to learn. It is a “Life’s Lesson” that has been hard to me in every area of life, but has taken a new approach since being on the mission field. “Life’s Lesson” #8 is the lesson of patience.
Since God has made every person different and unique, patience may come easy to some whereas difficult to others. I can not blame on God that he “geared” me different from another person, rather I must learn to be more like Christ and learn to become patient.
Since my life has very much to do with serving people, I regularly meet with people at church, coffee shops, my house, in town, etc. But when I ask to meet with someone, I like to keep a schedule. Not only in Argentina, but globally, many people do not arrive exactly on time … therefore trying my patience. To wait for them and practice patience, many times makes my blood boil. Going to customs and waiting on paperwork, trying to pay bills, waiting for a phone company to fix your phone, trying to buy a simple house-hold article, etc., truly requires patience.
Although I realize it myself as well as have been told many times, a lack of patience many times can get you shot and killed. Not only can it get me shot, but I have found out that on the mission field it can discredit my testimony and work.
This may be very simple or very clear to some, but I have found that having patience is a needed requirement in working with people. I have found that a few simple steps can help me become more patient:
- Take a book with me when I have to pay a bill or have to wait in line somewhere.
- Make sure not to plan a meeting or activity too close together (give flexibility time between meetings in case the meeting goes long, there is a lot of traffic, etc.).
- Always remember that one day that person might visit our church or be in our congregation.
Though these may be simple to others, I found that they keep me many times from getting aggravated. So a simple “Life’s Lesson” on patience could save me from losing my testimony, my work, or even … getting shot.