The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blazing Serene Hope

Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue. - Ambrose Bierce

Patience, I am convinced, is a virtue much touted and thoroughly unwanted.  Nobody really wants to have patience because the learning of it is a long bath in a giant tub of itching powder.  So here I sit, a person of instant action, learning patience, ready to come out of my flingin-flangin' skin.

Patience and fortitude conquer all things. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The problem is a Placement, or rather a lack of one.  It's six weeks until graduation and I still don't have any definitive idea of where I will be going.  Not only am I a person of instant action, but I am (oddly enough) someone who prefers to exhaustively plan and prepare.  I was a Girl Scout, this is how we roll! But in this particular case, I can do no things.  I can't study up on the culture and customs of an undisclosed location!  I can't stock up on useful items or get all of the vaccinations I might possibly need.  Nor can I do much fundraising due to the fact that I don't know what it's going to cost.  I like to be useful.  I like to be productive.  I.Can't.Do.Anything.

Patience is waiting.  Not passively waiting.  That is laziness.  But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience. - Unknown

This then, is the real training.  Sure, the official UMVIM Training gave me loads of very useful information, but knowing about the high wire act of missions is not nearly the same as stepping out into thin air.  Generally speaking, there is a certain personality type common to missionaries.  We tend to be givers and doers.  We also tend to be wildly uncomfortable waiting and receiving.  But wouldn't you know, the first step to becoming an effective minister is to master just those two things. 

Faith is not simply a patience that passively suffers until the storm is past.  Rather, it is a spirit that bears things - with resignations, yes, but above all, with blazing serene hope. -Corazon Aquino

We talked a lot in training about the ministry of presence.  It never occurred to me that I might need to be intentionally present for: myself.  I think a part of patience is living fully in, and appreciating the current moment for what it is, and letting go of all that it is not.  Time is whizzing past and I'm stressed about sharing with my home church and my current church this mission journey I am going on to ........somewhere.  I'm worried that my ignorance of my destination will cause me to make an ass out of myself once I get there (as if that isn't inevitable no matter my level of preparation...).  And yet, and yet, I don't live in the future, I live in the present.  If I neglect to live in this current moment, I am not living anywhere.

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. -Buddhist Proverb

So here I am, itchy and sore, trying my best to keep walking, to do all that I can and ignore the frantic beckonings of everything I can't.  If you hear someone screaming with frustration, it's probably me.

Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee;
All things pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
All that it strives for.
-St. Teresa of Avila


About Me

My photo
A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


Blog Archive

  © Free Blogger Templates Photoblog III by 2008

Back to TOP