Staying on the theme of patience, I remembered a story about a woman who observed a man in the grocery store with a 3 year-old boy in his grocery cart. As they passed the cookie section, the child asked for cookies and his father told him “no.” The little boy immediately began to whine and fuss, and the father said quietly, “Now Allen, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; be patient and don’t get yourself all upset. It won’t be long.”
The woman passed the father again in the candy aisle. Of course, the little boy began to shout for candy. When he was told he couldn’t have any, he began to cry.  The father said, “There, there, Allen, let’s be patient. Only two more aisles to go, and then we’ll be checking out.”
The woman again happened to be behind the pair at the checkout, where the little boy immediately began to clamor for the chocolate treats and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there would be no chocolate purchased today. The father patiently said, “Allen, we’ll be through this check-out stand in a few minutes, and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The woman followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the man to compliment him. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Allen.” The father broke in “Allen? I’m Allen. My son’s name is Tommy.”
A way to cultivate patience is to reflect on what makes you impatient. What’s your grocery shopping with a 3 year old? When you know what makes you impatient you’re better positioned to manage the negative impacts that it brings but more importantly it opens you for the healthier response of embodying patience and that is a fruit of the Spirit.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 37:7-8
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.  Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Reflection Questions:
What makes you impatient?
Who is the “fretter” in your life?
How do you become still and listen for God?

Prayer: Holy God, keep me attuned to the times that I become impatient and fret and settle my heart to be open to receiving the joy of your presence.  The more excellent way is how I want to live. Amen.

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