Pet Peeves & Patience

We all have pet peeves, patience- not so much. “Pet peeves” is an interesting phrase but, don’t be fooled. We can easily substitute other words that can bring us to the edge of reason. How about gripes, irritations, nuisances, annoyances or hassles? One thing I have noticed about myself and many others is that we have little or no patience when the heat is on. We live in a “me” culture that wants things our way and fast… fast food, instant results, quick answers, short lines and speedy outcomes.

I am sure if I asked you to name your pet peeves, you wouldn’t have to think about it; you could rattle a few off instantly. My short list includes: people who interrupt before you finishing speaking, always arrive late or don’t keep their word. Then there are drivers who pull out in front of you only to turn off shortly thereafter and how about line jumpers, car weavers and the ever popular cell phone usage during the movies? Oh I am just getting started and I haven’t even mentioned my pet peeves in politics!

We each have reasons for our patience to be tested. If patience truly is a virtue we should all be aspiring to have more of it. To be patient means literally to wait without complaint. I know too that patience is one of the biblical fruits of the Spirit along with love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I know I want there to be evidence of these virtues in my life. I don’t want to be known for my impatience and complaining. I’m sure you don’t either!

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There are no short cuts to strengthening our character and our personal list of virtues. I think it takes an intentional decision of the heart to put others first and “do life” without complaining. It helps me to remember that everyone is going through something and our impatience about any situation isn’t going to be helpful to them or my blood pressure. A quote by Plato puts it this way: “Be kind-for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I believe that to be true. Drivers may still cut you off in traffic, but maybe before the rant, remind yourself that they may be in a hurry for a very good reason. No one truly knows what another goes through on any given day, so perhaps we can all strive to be a little more patient and a little less peevish! This is just me, Connie Schaeffer – Thinking Out Loud

Connie Schaeffer is a resident of Kutztown and enjoys reading, writing, but not arithmetic.