Friday, October 15, 2010

Patience is a virtue

Life is short. This is a phrase I find myself saying often. It’s too short to let little things get in the way of your happiness (yet, it still doesn’t stop me from stressing over little things). It’s too short to make excuses. It’s too short because there are some really wonderful parts of life that I wish I could cherish over and over again. I could go on forever.

So while I find myself saying this often, I also find myself not staying true to my own advice.

How in the world can I possibly wish time away? I try not to do this on a regular basis. And when I do find the feeling creeping up, I instantly begin to squelch it with reminders that I must be crazy.

But tell me, don’t you ever look forward to things so much that you find yourself saying “I can’t wait until _____?” I know this isn’t the same thing as wishing time away, but it sort of is. I look at things I have ahead of me and almost wish that we could skip some time and just get there.

Example: Sean lost his job this summer and is expected (this is the key word – nothing is promised) to get rehired with them sometime next spring. I know how much he loved his job and the people he worked with, and him being able to work full-time again will be nice, too. So I find myself wishing it could just be spring already. Or at least skip over some of the boring winter months!

Anyway, I know that much of this stems from my severe lack of patience. Have I mentioned that impatience is practically my middle name? I have the HARDEST time waiting for anything, much less something I’m looking forward to, so I’m sure you can imagine my struggles.

So for now I’ll simply work on not wishing time away and enjoying each day as it comes. In keeping with that, I’ve recently taken to saying the Serenity Prayer (the longer version) a few times a week. I think it has some really great lessons to share and it serves as a great reminder for so many things. While there seem to be a few different adaptations of the prayer (in both shortened and extended forms), this is the one I’ve been following:

Grant me the serenity;
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage, to change the things I can;
And the wisdom, to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

I don't know why I haven't found comfort in this prayer sooner. I am by no means the perfect Christian - far from it in fact (but something I would like to work on). But one thing that is very important to me is prayer. I pray every night before bed (yes, saying them in my head instead of out loud still counts, in my opinion) and find myself stopping to say a quick prayer whenever I feel I need a little extra help or guidance.

Tell me: Do you pray (in any definition of the word)? It doesn't even always have to be to God. Maybe you ask loved ones who have died for their strength or blessing. Maybe you just open it up to the universe to whomever may be listening.

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