The Fruit of the Spirit for Today’s Young Christians – Patience (part 1/3)| Jay Fesperman

What’s happened to TIME? Where has TIME gone? It seems to have disappeared! We have instant breakfast, instant coffee, instant multiplication, instant re-plays…supersonic jets, hurrying Honda-bikes, instant entertainment, drive-in churches, high-speed toys, and we STILL don’t have time! Rush to classes. Rush to fellowship meetings, racing to be on time for engagements…well, not more than 5 or 10 minutes late.

“The FRUIT of the SPIRIT is PATIENCE.”

But I must act NOW! I don’t have TIME to WAIT for tomorrow! All of a sudden in the last 20 years, we’ve lost our sense of time. “I can’t complete what I am doing, because I’ve got something else to do.”

“I DON’T HAVE TIME!” What a stupid statement! I’m just like everyone else… 24 hours a day: 168 hours each week! It’s a paradox, but rushing at breakneck speed to get something finished quickly is usually a waste of time; and all it does is create IMPATIENCE, the “UN-FRUIT” of the Spirit.

Now, just slowing down is not necessarily the whole answer to impatience. There are two primary products of the impatient ones: (1) Failing to complete the test before you. This, in itself, produces a sour byproduct. You don’t learn your lessons from an uncompleted assignment. And the chances are that you’ll leave someone hanging. (2) No priority system: No order. Usually, big tasks are composed of small tasks. And the small chores demand an order, a flow, and completeness. “Be faithful in little things.”

I’m writing this as I sit in New York’s JFK airport. I missed my flight by 5 minutes. But in the agony of rescheduling myself for a 2-day, 10,000 mile trip to Zimbabwe in southern Africa, I simply began to pray, and the Peace of the Lord came over me.  Instead of getting exercised over my misfortune I exercised patience – rare for me! -and I learned another lesson! I picked a book out of my briefcase, and read a portion about prayer. The lesson: “When I lift my petitions to God in prayer, I am stating to Him that I see Him and this world in disagreement. I don’t have to accept the circumstances as they are. I can convince God to change them. Essentially, I am in rebellion against the inevitability of the “nature” of the world and its fallen state.”

As I was working with the airline ticket agent for an alternate route, the inner whisper came: “THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!” To me, that is a call to petition God to bring into ‘revelation’ the ‘other way’. He DID! And “the way” He brought was better than the original way! Praise God!

From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, No. 34, November 1983.

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