“Patience is a virtue. Virtue is a grace. Grace is a little girl who never washed her face.” Funny enough, this phrase goes through my head constantly when I am faced with a situation that tries my patience. Sad to say that over the years the amount of times I chant this to myself has increased. Why? Am I simply growing more skeptical? Have I finally come to realize that the benefit of the doubt doesn’t hold up in real, adult situations? Perhaps I’m just so secure in myself that my time is worth more than everyone else’s around me.
Or maybe patience is a dying art.
Society today is fast and only getting faster. We have whatever information we seek in seconds. News reports come out before events are done happening. People tweet about their lives in real time and all the while the understanding that good things take time falls to the wayside. More and more I am convinced that the root of this epidemic has one souce: me.
Why am I not patient in the car on the way to work? Because my time is precious and I have places to be. Why am I frustrated on the plane when the crew discovers something wrong and I have to wait 20 extra minutes for takeoff? Because I am uncomfortable and I have a connection to make.
The real death of patience happens because of my own entitlement. We are all children of God, I am no more entitled than the person next to me. They have places to go, families who depend on them, jobs that cannot wait. So I remind myself: Patience is a virtue and a grace. Something that grows through effort and prayer and lives in me to the extent that I practice it.
Mitrousis is the faith-formation director and youth minister at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Penfield.