The first thing I think of when I read today’s verses are the first two words – “Be patient”. I don’t know about you, but patience is in short supply in my house. And from what I see on the highways around Northern Virginia, it’s in short supply in a lot of places.
Patience is one of James’ themes throughout this epistle. One of my favorite passages from James is “Be slow to anger”. His point is a good one – in today’s vernacular, if you stop and count to ten, chances are you will rethink your reaction.
I truly believe that the majority of people would like to practice patience. After all, who deliberately wants to start the day cursing at traffic? But the fact of the matter is that it is plain hard to be “slow to anger”. It is hard to remember to count to 10. But imagine what a great place this would be if everyone did just that. Imagine going grocery shopping at Wegman’s on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving where there are a kajillion people in the aisles and everyone has a smile on their face and are not only civil, but outright nice to each other.
The tension in the air these days is palpable. The news of doom and gloom is everywhere. Everyone is on edge. Our personal rope that each of us holds on to before we blow is shorter and shorter. Yet we are still called to be patient. Patient with ourselves, patient with each other and patient on the Lord. All of us can do our part. We can practice throughout this holiday season. Don’t be the one at Wegman’s who snaps. Instead be the one who plans to take more time and can therefore take the time to be patient and kind. I guarantee that when you leave the store, you will have made your day – and the Lord’s too.