What the world needs now ... patience

November 11th, 2020

Impatience! Doctor’s offices, school lunch lines, government offices, the bus stop, the checkout lines on Black Friday — all of these are places we wait. But how patient or impatient we are can impact our health more than we know. When those wait times increase and become more than just a few minutes, many respond with frustration, impatience, even anger. Dr. Amit Sood, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, was interviewed recently by CBS News. “Impatience is not simply the opposite of patience,” Sood explained. “Rather, the absence of patience brings anxiety, illness, injury, loneliness — and even death.” He went on to say, “An episode of explosive anger, stress or impatience can increase your risk of heart attack and sudden death by two to eightfold for the next few hours.” 


If we identify which situations or people trigger our impatient thoughts and behaviors, we can work on changing our responses in those situations. Especially in situations beyond our control — like a global pandemic — waiting it out while it passed proved unrealistic. So, we have tried to figure out ways to live, work and go to school while we wait for the number of COVID cases to flatten out. It is understandable for people to be impatient after months of restrictions. It is equally understandable for people to want to protect public health, their loved ones or themselves from a virus that has claimed more than 1.2 million lives worldwide. 


Like the Israelites who were exiled from their homeland for 70 years, we too must listen to those calling us to remain faithful to God. We too must hear God’s Word through Jeremiah to keep on living full lives while we wait for a return to more normal times. Like the early Christians who lived in chaotic times, with many voices trying to persuade them in different directions, we too must hold fast to Jesus’ teachings and put on (like clothing) the traits of gentleness, kindness, patience and love before we interact with others.

Question of the day: When you feel impatient, what physical symptoms do you experience?
Focal scriptures: Job 7:3-4; Jeremiah 29:4-7; Colossians 3:12-17

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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