[COLUMN] On the importance of being patient

Everything in life takes time to grow, flourish, and bear fruits.  It’s true in any relationship, whether it’s marriage, family, or friendship.  It’s also true in community and nation-building,

Healing also takes time.  Any doctor would tell us this hard truth.  Even friends mention this to us when we lose someone dear with the comforting phrase, “Time heals.”

Also, it takes time to fulfill a personal goal, mission, or vision, whether it pertains to one’s career, business, or physical, emotional, and physical health.

So, what proper attitudes must we possess to go through this growth process?

First, we need to have patience.  It’s what St. James advises in the Second Reading this Sunday, December 11 (James 5:7-11):

“Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord.  See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.  So you, too, must be patient.”

In his Sunday Readings reflection, Fr. Ron Rolheiser also speaks about this virtue when he asks:

“Can anyone paint a masterpiece in a couple of hours?  Can a doctoral thesis be completed in two hours?  Can sex with someone you met just two hours before be sublime?”

There is a saying in Spanish that goes this way:

“Cuando Dios quiera, donde Dios quiera, como Dios quiera, y con quien Dios quiera.”

In English, it means “when God wants, where God wants, how God wants, and with whom God wants.”

The saying implies patience, which also presumes a strong faith in God and a spirit of surrender to His will.

Second, we must have discipline.  Indeed, this virtue is challenging to practice because it also takes time to develop.  But doing it one day at a time, with consistent follow through and encouragement from others will allow us to set it in our lives.  Furthermore, the fruits of discipline would inspire and make us happy and fulfilled.

Advent season, being a waiting period urges us to put on patience and discipline in our lives.

And so it helps us to reflect on these questions:

When I look at my life, what is the area where I have the greatest need to grow in patience?

Where am I failing in discipline?


Your loving pastor,

  1. Rodel G. Balagtas

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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