Patience is natural to the teacher of God.

by Greg Mackie

Robert spoke of Black Friday in his last message, so now it's my turn. I live in Mexico, and my partner Patricia and I went to the mall during "Buen Fin," the Mexican equivalent of Black Friday, the weekend that promises “the best buys of the year,” as the sign below says. It was the typical feeding frenzy, and as we worked our way through the holiday crowds, I felt that tightening in my mind that points to one of my biggest personal challenges: impatience.

Yes, I have to admit it, I'm impatient. Whether it's with the crowds of Buen Fin, somebody not understanding what I'm trying to tell them (a common occurrence when I try to speak Spanish), my and others' spiritual progress, or the overall progress of the world at large, that feeling of impatience is there. True, I'm outwardly polite, and I'm sensible enough to know that my impatience is unwarranted. But I still get that inner tension, that flash of irritation in my mind that says "Hurry up! What's taking you so long?"

So, I've been working a lot on undoing this impatience, focusing on the Course's wonderful teaching that "Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety" (M-4.VIII.1:1). Of course, I myself am not actually so certain of the outcome, but I trust the Course when it says that "A happy outcome to all things is sure" (W-pI.292.Heading).

So, I'm really trying to let that in. Whenever I feel that flash of irritation, I try to take a deep breath and use something from the Course to remind me that all is well and there's no rush. "I rest in God" (W-pI.109.Heading). "There is nothing to fear" (W-pI.48.Heading). "Your peace is with me, Father. I am safe" (W-pI.245.Heading). And yes, "A happy outcome to all things is sure."

The good news is that it's working. Oh, I still have that impatient streak, but I'm chipping some good chunks out of it. And I'm learning that there is a real peace that comes with patience. In so many life situations, we feel anxious because things aren't going the way we would like. I see this all around me every day; clearly I'm not the only one who struggles with this. But for myself, I'm finding that to the degree that I let go of this, I really can "wait without anxiety." What a blessed relief!

As we make our way through another chaotic holiday season, then, I encourage you to take that deep breath yourself and use whatever words from the Course help you to feel the blessed relief of genuine patience. The Course promises us that someday, as we develop into advanced teachers of God, such patience truly will become natural to us. But why wait? May you find this very day, as the Course says, that "infinite patience produces immediate effects" (T-5.VI.12:1).

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