Social scientists who spend their time studying things I would never think of studying have shown that the average individual in the developed western world is impatient when it comes to even the little things in life. For example:
-When entering an elevator and pushing the button for the desired floor, if the doors do not start to close within 3 to 4 seconds, the average individual will push the button a second and possibly even third time.
-Individuals who regularly pass fast food restaurants during the day while driving, tend to fix quick meals at home at a higher percentage than those who are not so exposed.
Some scientists are now suggesting that our culture of speed, ease, and information overload are even rewiring the twenty-first century human brain toward an impatient disposition. Some skepticism of that claim is certainly in order, but can anyone seriously question that our way of life in the twenty-first century west discourages patience?
Some things take time. As much as we are aware of our impatient culture, we also know that certain things cannot be had overnight. From the time that radish seeds are planted until harvest is three weeks. Some varieties of watermelon take three months. An impatient gardener will likely not plant the latter and simply opt to purchase it in the grocery store.
Proverbs 19:11 states, "Those with wisdom are long on patience." How many foolish decisions are made when people in a crisis act before thinking. How many times do we wish we were able to reconsider a decision made realizing, after the fact, that we hadn't thought it through sufficiently. I realize that some things require quick action, but patience is indeed a virtue that we need if wisdom is to flourish in our midst; and most importantly, patience with one another in the midst of our daily responsibilities is necessary if we are to relate to one another in a wise way.
After all, God has been extraordinarily patient with each and every one of us.
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)