The Patience Of A Saint
by Rob Dunne
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:4
If he was any closer, he would be sitting in my back seat. Tailgaters. They are the bane of my existence. During my daily commute, I am consistently dealing with tailgaters. What is even more frustrating about them is that I try to drive in the slow lane. Yes, I drive like your grandfather. That doesn’t give you an excuse to ride my bumper and then pass me while narrowly avoiding a collision with my vehicle. It really gets my goat!
My wife Kellie has been instrumental in helping me see what is at the root of my impatience. In a nutshell, I am judging my fellow commuters. I decide guilt or innocence on the highway system. This, in spite of the fact that I have no authority whatsoever to enforce the laws of the State.
My lack of patience while driving is something that I find myself bringing to God often. God calls me to love others as I love myself. I find it very hard to love someone that I believe is putting my life in jeopardy while drafting my car in their attempt to garner imaginary Sprint Cup points.
Lately, I find myself praying for my fellow commuters. I have to remind myself that the person could be faced with an emergency and they are trying to reach a loved one. Alternatively, they may have had a bad day and are simply acting out of frustration. Regardless, I am to employ the same level of grace towards others that God demonstrated towards me. “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do” is repeated often and out loud. It calms me down and reminds me that Jesus loves them and died for them too.
Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The fact that I fail to operate out of patience does not make that fruit any less real. What it means is that I have taken my eyes off of the spiritual and granted my flesh permission to dominate my thoughts. I have to remind myself that one third of me is spirit and that I am one spirit with God. When my spirit is in control, being patient and loving others is much easier. That is because God is my source and my Helper.
Do you find yourself losing patience with others or yourself? If so, spend time in the presence of God. Being with Him releases love, joy and peace in your life. These fruits produce patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I can attest that it is helping to change my attitude towards tailgaters. Let the Spirit do the same in your life today.