Patience is NOT one of my stronger qualities. I'm impatient by nature and used to rationalize that even though it would be a good thing to learn, impatience was also a good character trait.
After all, if I'm impatient for good things, isn't that a good thing? For example, impatiently striving for a good goal--like finishing my scriptures or paying off a medical bill. It's good to be impatient for things like that, right? My husband was impatient when it came to wanting to buy a house and so we bought a house just six months after we got married. That was a good thing, right?
So being an impatient person isn't the end of the world.
I've told myself that for so many years that I'd just about convinced myself that it was true. But lately I'm realizing little ways that my impatience has hurt me and I'm hoping to share with my children (I hope it isn't too late) the good things that come from patience.
In spite of several years of music lessons, I can't play an instrument. Why? Because in my impatience, I failed to grasp the concept that playing a musical instrument requires time and effort and progress is made in little, tiny increments. If I couldn't play something wonderful right away, it wasn't worth my time. My impatience robbed me of a talent I could have had, but don't.
I struggled with math and so instead of taking the time (and patience) it would have required to learn it, I just threw up my hands and surrendered. If math couldn't be as easy for me as it was for my younger brothers, forget it. I didn't have the patience for it.
Until a few years ago, every book I read was so I could finish it. The point was to get to the end and see what happened. I didn't take the time to see the beauty of the way the words were put together, the pictures painted by the words escaped me in my haste to get to the end. This is especially sad for me as a writer. I wonder if I'd be a much better writer if I'd floated pleasantly among the words I was reading instead of sprinting to the end in world record time.
There are so many beautiful things that are accomplished when we learn patience. We get to witness growth--talents developed, seeds turn into flowers, nickels and dimes turn into dollars and security in savings accounts. We get to see things disappear--mortgages and other bills, clutter and bad habits.
Good things happen when we willingly and patiently accomplish little pieces of the big puzzle.