Patience is a Dirty Word?

It has been for me lately. It seems as if someone is always telling me to "just be patient" or asking me why I'm "in such a hurry" to do this, that or the other. This generally results in me being speechless out of sheer anger because heaven knows they have no idea what they're talking about. Unfortunately, when someone directly tells you to be patient, it's hard for it not to come off terribly self-righteous.  And so, I approach this topic with a lot of caution.

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Patience has been something I've struggled with for almost my entire life. I am a goal oriented person. I like setting and achieving goals. I loved taking tests in high school and college because it gave me a chance to prove myself and measure my progress. [weird, yes. I'm OK with that.] The problem comes when I'm constantly refusing to find the joy in the every day because I'm looking forward to next summer, Christmas, when we have a house, when we have a baby, when we're pregnant, when I don't have to work anymore, when C graduates from chiropractic school, etc. The list goes on and on.

I can't tell you how many times me and C have discussed how we need to slow down and enjoy this time of life. The conversation always ended with a "ok. let's do it!" Exactly how to do it wasn't very clear until yesterday.

Yesterday, at church, a certain high-councilman spoke to us. He had a way of explaining things through metaphors that was completely captivating. I don't think I looked away from the podium once [and with a man as attractive as C sitting next to you, that's a pretty rare occurrence.]

The speaker started talking about time and how it relates to God. If you think about the creation story found in the Bible, it talks about 6 creative periods and a day of rest. Each day in God's time is equivalent to 1,000 years in ours. Knowing that, think about the following:

  • 1 year is the equivalent of 1 minute and 18 seconds.

  • I am only 28 minutes old.

  • C is 30 minutes old.

  • My beautiful niece Lillie is 32.5 seconds old.

  • My twin nephews are 52 seconds old.

  • Women, you're only pregnant for 1 minute with each of your children.

  • As parents, we spend 39 minutes raising our children and then we'll have an empty nest again.

  • 1 month is the equivalent of 6.5 seconds.

  • We're in school for about 23 minutes and 25 seconds.

  • As humans, we live for an hour and 50 minutes on average.

  • We're asked to remain faithful for that hour and 50 minutes.

  • Those of you who are waiting to be able to add another little one to your family, every time you're asked to wait, it's only another 6.5 seconds in the grand scheme of things.

  • Those of you waiting to find your beloved husband, the time is soon. We're talking minutes and seconds here.

  • Mothers of children who aren't sleeping, or have hit the terrible twos with gusto, or aren't quite grasping the whole idea of potty-training, this phase is only a few seconds long.

When I think about this, I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of comfort. It's completely changed my outlook. I can do anything for an hour and 50 minutes. I can, and will, wait an extra 6.5 seconds to bring a child into our family, if it means they will join this world at the time they are being saved for. [And I can, and will, do it again and again.] I can, and will, happily support my husband for the last 6 minutes and 50 seconds of his schooling. I can, and will, be a faithful daughter of my Heavenly Father for the entire 1 hour and 50 minutes I am away from Him.

I know hard times will come, but "[my] adversity and [my] afflictions shall be but a small moment;" {D&C 121:7} literally.

When things get tough, does it makes sense to rely on your 28 minutes worth of experience? Thinking about it that way sure makes it easy to turn to your Heavenly Father and trust in his endless knowledge.

Suddenly, patience isn't such a dirty word.

So, what will you do with the time that's left?

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