“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…” – Rainer Maria RilkeA friend of mine gave me a magnet with Rilke’s quote on it years ago because she knows me so well. I know I wrote about God’s timeline a month ago, but this week I’m deepening my understanding of patience and how it affects me.
This week I’ve been taking stock of my life and I see just how frequently impatience crops up. I’m noticing how impatience is the root of much of my misery. For instance, take this morning. Nestled in my bed, dreaming about foreign lands and new friends I heard a loud, incessant beeping, and it wasn’t my alarm. The noise came from a parked car in the lot below my window. My first reaction was, “Ugh! That car alarm is so loud and obnoxious! Surely the parking attendants will rush over and turn it off? Surely they’ll respect the fact there are some people still sleeping?” No. They did not rush to turn off the alarm. They did not rush to do anything. Instead they let it beep and beep and beep.
Where does impatience get me? Feeling frustrated, irritated, grumpy, annoyed, angry, pissed off, and pretty much every other synonym you can think of. Where does patience get me? The complete opposite.
My second reaction to the car alarm going off came from the serene place in my brain. My patient side said, “It will stop eventually, don’t worry about it.” Because here's the thing, my impatient self thinks, “The car alarm is going to go off forever! I’m going to hear this car beep for the rest of my life! I’m never going to be able to sleep again!” Really. In my mind, if something doesn’t happen immediately it’s going to last indefinitely. In my mind if the parking attendants don’t shut off the alarm NOW the alarm will never cease.
I guess I’m saying this week I’m learning just how much impatience affects me. Just how much it keeps me boxed into a small, ego-centered place. How impatience veers me off the God path. The path where I recognize everything happens for a reason in my best interest. The path where I know my deepest desires will be fulfilled eventually. The path where I understand everything blossoms at its own right and true pace. Patience gives me serenity, keeps me calm, keeps me aligned with my higher power. Patience keeps me humble and open to whatever’s in the best interest for all parties involved. I’d like to remember that. And I’d like others to remember it as well.
I dream of a world where we all feel patient and calm and centered. A world where we understand there are greater forces at work in our lives and those forces understand what’s in our best interests. A world where we know timing plays a key role in things and it’s better for us to leave it to the infinite loving force that guides all of creation. A world where we align our wills’ with God’s, recognizing patience is a key element. A world where we feel at ease knowing all is well in our world.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.