Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Patience is a Virtue, So Hurry Up and Read

Frustrations mounting, sweat-dripping, and steam coming out of my ears like a raging bull, I have again found myself at the end of my rope. What has me all bent out of shape, you might ask? Love life gone wrong? Nope. Problems at home? Nuh-uh. Money problems? Not really. Then what?

I have again found myself irritated beyond belief, because of a stupid game called golf. Stupid being the operative word simply because the game is the problem and not my inability to play it, or so I tell myself over and over again. Most everyone knows that sports are often great tools to learn life lessons: being a team player, perseverance in the face of adversity, hard work paying off, etc.

However, this lesson I am currently facing is one I believe to be the toughest for many (including myself) to learn and live out in a practical manner in everyday life. I find that when I play golf, I become keenly aware that patience in my life is in short supply. I have found that when an issue shows up in one part of my life, it can often be found in other places of my life as well. Sports can often act as a catalyst to reveal such things. Is there a fear of failure, an anger problem, or simply a lack of patience?

Patience… the very word can cause me to yawn, roll my eyes, or turn my attention to something else altogether. You see, I am a doer. I see something, I go after it. End of story. Being patient is not my cup of tea.

In fact, the thought of having to be patient seems to even increase my frustration. Yet, in golf I really have no choice, but to be patient. In football, if I get frustrated I just hit someone harder on the next play. In basketball, I can foul someone. In baseball, it’s easier to just hit the ball harder. Then there’s golf.

When you get frustrated in golf and lose patience, you often land the ball in the sand trap, woods, or in my case the window of that expensive house that just happened to get in the way of my innocent ball.

I can often mistaken patience and waiting on passivity, or I can see it as a convenient excuse for the lazy or the fearful. Yet I realize that this is not always the case. I think if I were back in Bible times, I might have made different decisions.

If I were Joshua I think instead of waiting for the seventh day, I might have instead knocked on the front door of Jericho after the first night. Perhaps if I were with Moses with the Red Sea in front of me and the Egyptians close behind, I think I might have jumped in the water and attempted to swim across.

This is not how I wish to be. I desire to be a man of faith and a large part of that is to be a patient man. Being a patient man is not being passive or lazy, but rather being bold in confidence that God will do exactly what He promises to do. I want to be like Abraham who waited patiently and was rewarded for it.

Hebews 6: 15 says,

"And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise (NASB)."

When I think about it, it’s nearly impossible to truly and honestly serve God faithfully and obediently without being a patient person who is willing to wait for the right thing at the right time. It is an odd thought really to realize that my frustrations on the golf course can give me a glimpse into my relationship with God.

This being said, I can at least make strides in trusting the Lord and waiting for the right thing at the right time…even if I’m still paying home owners for broken windows, because of my less than par golf game.

Copyright © 2007 Jayce O'Neal, Ph.D. Used by permission.

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