Religion column: Patience, patience…

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2017

By Fr. Jonathan J. Filkins

As infants, our needs are rather simple. Much of what we need is of a rather pedestrian sort, given we are so helpless. We, typically, require a warm place to sleep, a well-filled bottle and a dry diaper.

An occasional cuddle is part of the necessity, for without this interaction we would not thrive. Of course, most babies are quite vocal when these needs are not met. Many parents will lament that the timing of their charge’s demands are inopportune; with sleep deprivation, the chronic complaint.

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As we grow slightly older and become more aware of our surroundings, perhaps our providers may be returning to some semblance of a normal sleep pattern, but the breadth of our demands only grow. We seem to retain the ego-centric impatience of our not-so-long-ago days where everything is an imperative and we have learned a whole new vocabulary; particularly the word, “no,” so often repeated to our sensitive ears. It is if we are to accept that we are not the center of the universe, which we stubbornly refuse to do.

All too soon, our egos are assaulted, as we begin to interact with our peers and the truth of the world begins to beat upon our senses. Pecking orders are developed, friendships honed and a burgeoning knowledge of life itself begins to take root.

In all of this activity, no matter our age, we are so impatient. Rare is the individual who does not get impatient at a long red light, or the selection of an interminably slow check-out line, or struggling to find an answer to a question.

It seems to be particularly acute in this information age. Impatience is not something we can easily outgrow, if at all.

In reality, most of us cannot, given the circumstances of the world we live in. Intriguingly, there has been much ink spent on commenting about our upcoming generations and their impatience with their career growth, or lack thereof.

When Jesus returned to earth, after His Resurrection, he met with His disciples. In His words, He said, “A little while you shall not see me; and again, a little while, and you shall see me, because I go to the Father.” These disciples, who were very much like us, did not understand what He said.

Much of this confusion has to do with their, and our, impatience. Many, of the early Church, believed that Jesus would return in the promised Second Coming, before the end of the last apostle’s life. Well, Saint John died of old age, around 100 A.D, and Jesus did not appear. We are still waiting, these twenty centuries later.

For some this is a tough slog, this believing in our Messiah’s return. After all, patience does wear thin at times. Yes, we see many evils in our world, but they are rarely new inventions. Greed, sloth, torment, anger and a myriad of other complaints only inspire us to be more worried and impatient.

As we acknowledge God created everything, this includes the creation of time itself. For Him, everything is the present, for He knows no past, no future. We, who are so bound up in our schedules, timepieces and calendars, know little else than the “march of time,” and the impatience associated with it.

The return of the Son of God has been promised to us, by God. We are told that the return shall be of His own choosing.

What we are told to have is patience, lots of it, awaiting the time when “our hearts shall rejoice.”