Sunday, January 8, 2017

Patience is a Virtue

Many people have trouble with being patient.  I am reminded of the cartoon of a child looking up towards heaven saying "Lord I need patience, and I need it RIGHT NOW".  We all hear about the impatience of drivers who honk their horns the instant a red light turns green if the driver in front of him doesn't move immediately.   It makes me sad because people like this are missing out on so much of what God has given to us.  We tend to sleep late, and leave for work later than we should have, so we are stressed, and risk unsafe driving practices, that could result in road rage, accidents, and sadly, sometimes homicides.  If we get up earlier, and leave early enough to allow for driving conditions, we might get to work on time, and NOT stressed out.  Then you can start your day with a smile for your co-workers.  Imagine how much better your day could go if you start it without stress!  
When was the last time you took time to stop and smell the roses, or to observe a beautiful sunset?  We saw this on Friday on our way back home from Hemet.  The sky was just glorious with colors.  God is an amazing artist, and it's really sad when we don't take time to appreciate His works.  Appreciation leads us to gratitude.  Gratitude helps us to realize just how blessed we truly are.  We should never focus on what we lack, but instead focus on what we DO have.  There will always be people who have more things than we do, but if we dwell on what we don't have, we won't enjoy all that we have been given.  Most of us have reasonably good health, family, friends and pets to love, enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, and a little money in the bank.  That puts us ahead of millions of people in the world.  There are many people who could use a little help now and then.  Maybe if you extend a helping hand to others, you will gain even more than you give.  

Next I want to talk about forgiveness.  I know too many people who have family rifts that go on for years.   This life is too short to spend it being mad at others.  Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We weren't born knowing how to love anyone.  Hopefully, we learned by watching our family members show love to one another.  But we are only human, and we make mistakes, and sometimes we hurt a loved one by what we have said or done.  It takes a lot of negative energy to maintain anger over such offenses.  As I said, life is too short to waste it on hateful feelings.  We are starting into a new year, and this would be a great time to choose to forgive anyone who has hurt you.  Free yourself of the stress and strain of this anger.  Give yourself the gift of a new attitude, one of love and forgiveness.  And while you're at it, why don't you forgive yourself for the wrongs you may have done to others, and let go of the guilt you've been carrying around?  God has forgiven you, and if He can forgive you, why would you ever think you can't forgive yourself?

Life may be short, but it can be wonderful.  It can be filled with joy, and love and happiness, if you only accept the blessings God has promised us.  It's your choice.  Someone once told me that life is 10% about what happens to us, and 90% about how we choose to react to it.  I choose to cherish each day, even the difficult ones because I KNOW that God is in control, and everything will be just fine, according to His will.  That takes a lot of stress off me because I know I don't have to deal with anything by myself.  Someone once sent me an email (sorry but I can't remember who sent it, or who originally wrote it), that was written as if by God.  It said something like "I just wanted you to know that I am in charge today, and I won't need any help from you, so have a wonderful day."  That works for me.  How about you?  Have a nice day, and a great year.