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Patience as a Spiritual Practice-Do you?

Here is a story from “The Pursuit” by Pat Williams with Jim Denny.  I am not always so patient with myself and sometimes with others.  I share this story with you because it is a good reminder for me too!

After a turbulent flight and a two-hour wait in the airport for a ride that never came, Fred finally made it to his hotel.

The desk clerk was very slow and took a considerable amount of time to check in the guest in front of Fred. When the clerk was finished with that customer, he turned to Fred and said, “Just one moment sir, I’ll be right back.”

Fred moaned and rolled his eyes. It was late, he was tired, and he just wanted to settle into his room.

The other customer turned to Fred and said, “Sir, this clerk is new and being trained to do the job. He’s doing the best that he can. You should really try to be a little more understanding.”

Fred immediately became embarrassed. Then he had a shocking thought: What if this customer would be attending the conference Fred was presenting at the next day?

When the clerk returned, Fred was still in a bad mood, but he did his best no to let it show.

The next morning, he ran into the other guest in the elevator. “You were right to say something to me yesterday. I was letting my own frustrations get the better of me. Thank you for having the courage to speak up.”

The two men chatted. Luckily, this gentleman was in town on other business, and they parted in the lobby.

Fred has never forgotten the lesson that this man showed him. No matter what you’re going through, it pays to be patient, understanding and kind.

We all know what bad days are like. Never let your actions be the cloud that darkens someone else’s day.

This story could substitute my own name for Fred’s. Sometimes I get really impatient.  I learn to take a deep breath and re-group.  Patience is not just a virture-it is really a spiritual practice.  Having patience for someone as they learn or do their job is also about seeing their humanity. 

So today see another’s humanity and remember you are practicing your spirituality to see them as created in the image of God–b’tzelem Elohim we say in Hebrew!

Today is the 11th day of the counting of the Omer which is 1 week and 4 days.