Waiting on the World:America Needs Patience
Even apart from the internet, we don't want to wait.
How many times a day do we watch a bar on the computer? Or see a small spiral as it swirls and tells us it is 'loading...'? And still, how many times do we become frustrated that it doesn't load fast enough? Americans have so much, but we want so much more. With mp3 players, laptops, cell phones, and all the other things we have, we have lost sight of reality. As a whole, American society lacks patience.
Even apart from the internet, we don't want to wait. When we need something which is not in our house, we can go right down to the convenience store. We are not forced to wait in line for hours to get toilet paper or light bulbs, like in communist Russia. Does that really make us better off, though? Though I do not agree with the system in Russia, I wonder if it teaches the people there the importance of waiting patiently.
Maybe you are asking, "Why do I need to wait, anyway? Isn't it better for me to have what I need?" Well, maybe we should look at the problem from another point of view. In the Old Testament, we read about the Israelites in the desert. Every day, God gave them manna and quail. When they became thirsty, God gave them water from a rock. He always gave them exactly what they needed, but not too much. The people had to learn to rely on God. They knew that they would get what they needed, they just had to wait and be patient.
I think we have come to rely too much on our electronic devices and working machines, that we may have forgotten about what hard work is. The truth is hard work takes time. We have to be patient to get hard work done. Maybe the reason why so many people don't want to do hard work is because they are not patient.
I heard an old man, one day, sharing his war stories with another young person. In the times of World War II, the American people all had to pitch in to the war effort. Men, women, and children; all did their part. With men off to war, families had to wait to hear if they were coming home. This old man commented at the end of his story, "I don't think that America has what it takes to go through that again today." And isn't that so true? Did you know that if there was a military draft, about 75% of all the people would be turned down immediately? Because three quarters of our nation has declined so much that they are either physically or mentally unfit to serve. Why is that?
Patience is a great virtue because it encompasses so much. It tells us that we must not become aggravated. It tells us to do our work well, taking the time to make sure we are doing things right. It tells us to trust. Most importantly, the virtue of patience tells us to never give up. I believe our country could use a dose of patience. A little bit can go a long way.
Pray that God will endow us with the virtue of patience. So that every day, we can do our work well and trust in God's Providence.
Nikolai Brelinsky lives in North Carolina. He attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount. He is a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program. Nikolai plans on possibly going to college in the future. He is a home-schooled high school student.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Virtue, Patience, holiness, waiting, technology, speed, spirituality, Nikolai R. Brelinsky
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