I am willing to admit, and my wife will attest to this, that of all my faults the greatest is my lack of patience. I am impatient in traffic and in almost every other aspect of daily modern life. I have become accustomed to immediate gratification of my every wish and when I don’t get it, I get frustrated. I realize that my impatience hurts me more than anyone else and so it’s something I’m always trying to improve upon, but usually without much success.
Over at Meridian Magazine there is a quote at the bottom of the front page:
“We may think that we or some other mortal opens the necessary doors to our future, but this conclusion is an error: We ourselves do not open these doors; only the Lord does. We give him our obedience, our diligence, our cooperation, but he opens and closes the doors. We can only make right choices; he controls the consequences of our choices.”
– M. Catherine Thomas, “The Doer of Our Deeds and the Speaker of Our Words,” BYU Devotional, December 7, 1993
I think this quote has some relevance to my lack of patience. I am a believer in the fact that certain things – maybe everything – happens for a reason. Maybe you were disappointed that you didn’t get a job you applied for but later found that the next opportunity was much better. Maybe you missed your flight to LA but were glad you weren’t on the flight when you learned that it crashed over the Rocky Mountains. OK, that one was over the top but you get the point.
Just yesterday I was wondering to myself if the things that frustrate me are all God’s way of trying to teach me. I was tying my tie before church and in the process the tab on the back of the tie got caught on my belt buckle. I thought to myself that in a million years I could not have done that even if I tried. I began to feel my usual frustration coming on and then I stopped to wonder if God wasn’t just giving me a test. A very small one at that but I was about to fail the test when I caught myself.
What do you think? Does God constantly test us – even in the little issues? Does He control every aspect of our lives – not by taking our free agency but by putting us in situations where we need to make a choice? You can also comment on my severe lack of patience if you want.