Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Continue in Patience

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Continue in Patience, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

It seems that lines are like kryptonite to me.

During my business travels last week, I encountered many lines. Perhaps most amusing are the lines at airports. For example, when departing, I arrived at the recommended two hours early time, so I had plenty of time to make my way through various lines. I noticed that even though I had loads of time (and the lines weren't even very long), I still felt that there was some great hurry; I even became frustrated when I chose the slower of two lines.

It was at this point that I remembered President Uchtdorf's talk where he reminded how hard waiting can be:

Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait. Some even feel their blood pressure rise when their line at the grocery store moves slower than those around them.

As I remembered this, I felt all my anxiety melt away—I even enjoyed a laugh at myself. I had become like those in traffic that I think are so silly: the people who race from one red light to the next as though they are in a hurry to wait.

There I was, in a hurry to wait 90 minutes on the other side of the security checkpoint. After I made it through and put my shoes back on, I saw a colleague patiently waiting in a chair. We had a good laugh at my (and others) foolishness at being in such a rush when the line speed was entirely out of our hands. We concluded that it's much easier to be patient if you are prepared (arrive on time) or have a friend to help pass the time (in positive, constructive ways).

Despite this conversation, my theory—and resolve—was put to the test when we saw a multi-hour line at the airport where we landed. I don't know if I could have been patient if I had to wait in that line. . .

In my nightly prayers, as I examine my day, I often decide that many of my problems stem from my own impatience. In fact, if you've endured my many General Conference Application Series posts, you may have noticed many where I've lamented on the same. I think my problem with my impatience is that I know that it stunts my development (i.e. I become damned).

Without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.

I'm grateful for the reminders of the importance of patience. I think of this talk every time I go shopping, go for a drive, or otherwise encounter a line. I don't always remember (or respond) fast enough, but I'm always grateful for the boost of patience that simply remembering his words on patience provides.

President Uchtdorf's words are like a shield to the weakening effects of lines' kryptonite-effects on me.

With these frequent reminders, I can be more of a Super[Patient]man!

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