Our front doorknob wasn’t turning. Some mechanism within was stuck, and no matter how much force we exerted on it, the knob simply wouldn’t turn. It happened on a week when my husband was really busy. So, in an effort to solve a more hands-on problem without his help (not something I am particularly adept at), I bought a new doorknob. I sat down in front of the front door with my new knob and some screwdrivers. The box said “easy installation”. But then I opened the instructions.
“What the heck?” I thought, as I looked at the myriad pictures and letters and all sorts of verbiage that made absolutely no sense to me. I called my 12-year old from the couch to help me decipher the strange code in front of me. He couldn’t do it. Undeterred, I pulled out my phone and went to that fount of all knowledge–Google. Finding a set of instructions that made sense, I began the task of removing the doorknob. Fast forward about 45 minutes. The knob, which was supposed to have a click mechanism for easy removal, was not removed. I had removed every other part of the lock except the knob. Frustrated and tired of my home improvement project, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I grabbed a pair of my husband’s pliers and pulled and twisted and cut through metal until the rosette part of the knob was removed. Pulling up a video on YouTube made by a very comforting grandma-type figure who explained things clearly and precisely, I was finally able to spot the little hole with click mechanism to release the knob from the door. Success!
Replacing the knob was pretty simple, and although it doesn’t quite shut the way it’s supposed to (sigh) it at least turns and allows us both entry into and exit out of our house.
Needless to say, I am not a very patient person. If something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, my default mechanism is to throw/beat/push/pull the object until it finally does what I think it ought to do. My impatience leads to anger, and instead of solving the problem in a quick and effective manner, I only end up making it worse. This is why we’ve had to buy new remotes, garage door openers, and an occasional lawn mower. I don’t want to patiently figure things out, I just want them to work.
Here’s the rub with impatience…it always leads to a bigger mess than what you started with.
This is why patience is a fruit of the Spirit. It has to be cultivated, over time, in relationship with God. God is infinitely patient. It’s the reason we, as humans, still exist. If God was not patient, he would have wiped us all out millennia ago. Fortunately for us, God is patient. His plans unfold with slow precision…each step carefully calculated to reveal itself at the appropriate time. God is in the long-game. And if we want to participate with him in building his kingdom, we need to cultivate the art of patience. So, how do we learn patience? The same way we learn to exhibit any fruit of the Spirit…we spend time with the Gardener. When we spend time with God, he imbues his Spirit within us. Patiently he works in our hearts, so that eventually there is more of him and less of us. In time, we bear fruit, including the fruit of patience.
Proverbs 14:29 states:
I had a cool graphic ready for this verse. However, the computer I’m working on didn’t want to download it. In an effort to cultivate patience, I’m choosing to be okay with that. I’m letting it go, secure in the knowledge that the meaning is more important than the design.
This week, choose patience. See what God might start to cultivate in you.
Blessings and Peace,