Way back in February I ordered an illusion from a manufacturer in the USA. And they sent it off to me in the post. I waited.
I was patient.
And I waited some more.
Eventually I ran out of patience and emailed the company to say that it hadn’t arrived and we agreed that it was not going to arrive so they said they would send another one. The thing is that they make the illusions themselves so they had to make another one before they could send it.
Eventually they told me that another one was on the way.
(It was now May)
So I waited.
I was still patient (mostly).
I waited some more.
And eventually I contacted the company and they agreed that it was not going to arrive.
So they made another one…
And I waited.
Then (at the beginning of August) they sent the third one, just as the first one arrived back at the company marked ‘undeliverable’ with no explanation about why that was the case.
So now, guess what?
I am waiting.
I now have a tracking number that enables me to know that the package is currently at Chicago’s O’Hare airport waiting to cross the Atlantic.
But I have no idea if or when it will make it to me, especially as we are moving house on Tuesday next week and while I am redirecting the post I don’t know if this will be included in that.
They say that patience is a virtue.
I think it is more than that. I think (agreeing with St Paul in the Bible) that it is a fruit that God’s Spirit grows in us as we allow ourselves to be open to him. And I am not just talking about patience in waiting for parcels, events or even people. I think it is primarily about patience in waiting for God’s timing. That comes with a growing acceptance that God (who sees everything) has a far far better idea of what is going on and what the best thing would be than my best and most certain plan ever could be. It comes with a willingness to pray ‘Thy will be done’ and mean it. It comes with a willingness and determination to wait for THE moment even if it means staying in a slimy pit, walking through the darkest valley or even being willing to remain there until we shuffle off this mortal coil.
That’s not easy. But it’s much more than a virtue. It’s hard. It’s robust. It’s a determined attitude. It’s a willingness to surrender to God. It’s not easy to understand. And it’s not something we can manufacture.
But when we really do allow the fruit to grow (and help create the right conditions for it to flourish through a ‘Thy will be done’ approach to life) we will find that it is also a source of peace, strength, comfort and hope.
Be blessed, be a blessing.