I used to be rather impatient with all kinds of things. As a kid, I couldn’t wait for summer to be over so school could begin. There was the year (memorialized in this photo) when I couldn’t wait to get Chatty Baby for Christmas. I couldn’t wait until I was sixteen and could get a driver’s license.
I remember making chocolate pudding from scratch at home one time, using a recipe we tried in a home economics class. At school I had dutifully followed the teacher’s instructions to first sift the cocoa before measuring. At home, wanting a quick dessert, I simply measured out the cocoa and didn’t bother to sift. The tell-tale lumps in the pudding I served, full of dry cocoa, were witness to my impatience.
Along the way, I’ve learned patience, mostly through trial and error. Without a doubt my greatest lessons in patience have come in parenting. Perhaps patience is the foil of unconditional love. Together, patience and love see a parent through the challenges of raising a child. They get you through the long night when a child can’t or won’t sleep. They get you through the phone calls from teachers and principals. They get you through the fits and foibles of the teen years. They see you through the false starts, mistakes and misunderstandings – yours and those of your child.
Here’s a gift idea in this season of giving. This year, give the gift of patience. It comes direct from your heart, and involves some sacrifice on your part. It’s free, so it won’t break your bank. And Lord knows, our women’s organization, our whole church and the world community could definitely benefit if all of us were more patient with each other in the coming year. And while we’re at it, let’s try to be more forgiving too. Come to think of it, if we more closely model our lives after the one whose birth we celebrate, we will become more patient and forgiving, won’t we?
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director.