It is said that Pride is the foundation of all sin but I can’t help but wonder if Impatience shouldn’t be up there on top. It is so hard to wait. A watched pot never boils, or so it seems. Even when we know the time that our waiting will end, it is still so very difficult to endure the time with patience. Then there are those occasions when we don’t know how much longer our patience will be tested, when our anticipation will finally come to fruition. Next time you are at a traffic signal waiting for the light to turn green, time your wait. What seems like an eternity is normally less than a minute. I can’t help but chuckle at the car that bolts off the line to be the first at the next red light and wait again, and if you’ve ever been pulled over by a policeman then you’ve experienced someone who can move slower than a worker at the post office. Even the old person with a walker moves faster! Yes, waiting is, I think, the ultimate test of Faith.
Unfortunately, our human existence is filled with Impatience toward God. Maybe that’s why I see it as rivaling Pride for the top spot. A quick read of Old Testament history will reveal the many times the Chosen People grew impatient with God. On a more personal level, how many times have I, like them, grown impatient with God and succumbed to the temptation to take off on my own and handle matters myself, rather than wait with loving Patience for God’s response? Ask any Priest and he will confirm that sins against Patience are among the most common that he hears.
It is also said that Cleanliness is next to Godliness but here again I believe Patience could be included in the statement. In fact, could we not say that Patience is Godly? How often do I hurt Him with my sins only to have Him Patiently draw me back by directing my attention toward my lack of Godliness? He waits, with Loving Patience, to hear me say, “Hear I am, Lord. I come to do your Will.”