Patience Is a Virtue (I just don't have)

If there is one thing this summer is teaching me it is how impatient I naturally am. I rush to work, rush home, count the seconds down as my dinner is heating in the microwave and fast forward through commercials.

As I write this, my patience is being tested by NJ Transit as it tries to fit a third disabled train's passengers onto my morning train. My patience is tested at work (as I am sure I test other's patience) and at home. My sons are young men, still forming, still growing, yet I expect them to have the knowledge and wisdom that a lifetime of experience brings with it.

Yet each day I venture into the garden and marvel at the way the plants are flourishing. I appreciate the way the greens of the tomato plants give off a rich scent, especially in the heat of the day. I am amazed at how a single cantaloupe plant can support as many fruits as it does, I marvel at the prodigious size of the cucumber plants as they create a veritable wall of greenery and produce dozens of perfect fruits. Even with all this bounty I find myself growing impatient.

When I first started to germinate the pepper seeds in late winter I calculated the number of days for each variety to germinate, the amount of heat and lights they needed and the 'perfect' day to move them out to the garden. What I didn't count on was how cool the month of May would be and a near frost that we had. I didn't figure in the amount of heavy rains we have had and the 10-day heat wave. I failed to remember that in my garden things rarely go as planned - yet it almost always turns out better than I had hoped

By the second week of August I had hoped to be 25% completed with my production of hot sauce for the year. I had it all planned out - heading to farmers markets with our product and my sales pitch "great hot sauce, locally grown, every penny of profit goes to charity". Who could refuse that?

Just as I was getting more frustrated a wonderful thing happened - color is appearing on the peppers. The fruits are maturing and this weekend I will be able to produce the first small batch of hot sauce of 2013.

I am sure that I will continue to be impatient, attempt to rush through life and forget to take the time to enjoy the process that is life. Instead of wanting to rush my kids through their early adulthood to the place where they "get it" I will do my best to be there for them, to help, support them and nurture them as they grow. They are ripening on their time and not mine. And I trust that the One who tends the garden of our lives does so with greater care, compassion and empathy than I can ever imagine.

How have you dealt with patience? What do you long for? I'd love to hear from you.

The end of a matter is better than its beginning,and patience is better than pride. Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,for anger resides in the lap of fools. ~Ecclesiastes 7:8-9

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ~1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

FaithBob Ferretti