Being patient is not one of my strong suites. I am not an impatient person, but I just cannot stand it when someone is slow. When someone gets in my way that is indecisive or unorganized, it drives me nuts.
We went out to eat tonight at a buffet. Buffets are great for our family because everyone gets what they want. Those of you that have little kids know how daunting of a task it is to keep an eye on your kid, get their food, get your own, and keep the line moving at the same time. As an experienced parent of three kids, I know how to keep everyone moving and organized. That is until you get the indecisive person ahead of you in line. You know who I am talking about. That person that looks at everything in front of them, but can't figure out what they want to do. You patiently stand by and observe them move their eyes back and forth and doing nothing with their hands.
When this person finally decides to make a move they do it as slow as possible. Instead of scooping up a heaping spoonful of food on their plate and moving along, they decide to leisurely pluck out pieces of food one at a time. Watching this makes me want to go insane. One part of me wants to go around them and move down the line. The other part of me wants to grab the spoon and help them with their decision-making process.
Being patient is something that we all have to learn how to do.
Being patient does not come naturally to all of us. When I am faced with a slow and indecisive person ahead of me, I feel like I am going insane. Just imagine a goldfish in a plastic bag full of water, like when you take them home from the pet store. Imagine poking a few holes in the bag and watching the water slowly mist out. Yep, that is how I feel when I am faced with indecisiveness. I feel like the fish that is losing water and understands what happens when the water is gone.
Being a husband and a father has taught me patience. Being patient as a believer in Christ is what makes us different than the rest of the world. When we want to see someone saved and they choose to continue down a wrong path, we need to have patience. Being patient with them is the only thing that we can do when we are waiting for them to become saved. The illustration that I used about the buffet can parallel life of an unbeliever. We can choose to walk around them. We can want something for them and pile it on them heavy. But ultimately it is not our actions that will get them saved; it is their own.
All we can do is tell them about Christ and show them Christ in ourselves. The rest is up to them.
1 Corinthians 13:4 NASB Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant