patience.

…all we need is just a little patience.

Maxima enim, patientia virtus.  “Patience is the greatest virtue”.  The Latin phrase is a bit more poetic than the normal quip that we are used to hearing from our mothers, our teachers, or those who find delight in tormenting us by witholding information or pleasure.  I’ve always been told that patience is a virtue.  And, thankfully, I’ve found myself to be abundantly blessed with patience.

While I usually count this seemingly inherent trait to be advantageous, at times I wonder if my ability to be patient is really borderline insanity.  Being ever-hopeful and optimistic, looking for the good in all circumstances, and extending patience and understanding to others are all good things.  This I believe to be true.  However, I’ve come to see that, in certain situations and conditions, exhibits of patience and perseverance may actually hinder us.

The past few years  have provided me with countless opportunities to wait with eager anticipation and healthy trepidation.  Many elements of my life now require such patience.  Last night served as a light-hearted reminder of the joys and struggles of patience – in this case, patience related to fanhood.  Yes, I am talking about the Buffalo Bills.  My dad said it best in an email to me this morning: “I had actually gone from the idea that they had at least competed with New England and appeared to be respectable to the national audience to thinking they were actually going to win.  And then…speechless.”  I wholeheartedly concur.  We have been patient for upwards of a decade.  I knew better than to go into the game hoping for a victory.  I just hoped that it wasn’t an utterly embarassing slaughter.  The Bills almost delivered a victory, an upset, a surprise.  Alas, it was too good to be true. 

Other than for victories in my sports-crazed world, I find myself waiting hopefully for things that are arguably a bit more significant.  I am thankful for the peace that patience provides.  I am amazed at the comfort I have in the unknown, and trust it comes from the One who gives peace that transcends all understanding.  I’m encouraged by those around me.  I’m finding that patience is not only a virtue, but a state of mind.

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