Whether we like it or not, we are having to learn patience. When I watch the news or read the papers, my eye is caught be every story that promises life might return to “normal.” Once I read it, I’m not sure I believe the headline. I am shocked by leaders who push for churches to get back to “normal” always wondering how the congregation of 12 elderly people will keep themselves safe and their building clean?
So I am trying to be patient. It isn’t easy. When I have to wait in a queue, I try not to distract myself with my phone. That’s the usual thing, isn’t it? When we cannot do what we want to do immediately, we pull out our phones, check Facebook, Google something, look at our emails. We complain about our children saying, “I’m bored,” but we don’t deal with boredom very well either.
So now when I stand in the queue at the grocery store, I look around me. I watch people. I notice the sky. I listen to conversations. I note the state of the building. I don’t find it easy, but it is now part of my living—to wait without complaining or letting frustration take hold. When I can’t do what I want to do NOW, I focus on being patient. I trust that eventually I will be able to enter the shop and find what I need.
When I send something in the post or order something, I also have to wait. Nothing seems to arrive quickly anymore. No point paying for first class post when you know it will take several days anyway. So I order, though not a lot, or a send and I simply trust the item will arrive at some point.
Perhaps patience and trust live together? I have trusted my life to God. It has not always been an easy ride, but my faith says that God will take care of me. That doesn’t mean I will have lots of money in the bank or the most expensive possessions. It does mean, that if I am listening, God will give me the skills I need to survive whatever is thrown at me. So perhaps for this time, the skill I need is patience.
Faith has to do with living in a way that is aligned with values of Jesus. I believe Jesus taught us about love and justice. What shape do those values take in these strange days? We may begin by noting the work of people who risk their lives to care for the rest of us. What is the appropriate way to support them now and in the future? We recognise that others are at risk—with little money, need for food, support with housing, access to services, fragile mental health. How can we individually and corporately support those still at risk? Faith does not stop while we live in lockdown. What we can do may shift, but we still act in love for others.
So while we live in lockdown, I continue in faith, and develop the skill of patience which comes from God.
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