Growing patience

Fruit is awesome.

Sure, candy is good, cake is great, and, yes, the right flavor of ice cream can be wonderful, but really, none of those can top a perfectly ripe peach or homegrown watermelon on a hot day. And even if you have one of the aforementioned treats, isn’t it better when you add a little fruit?

I mean, there’s a reason for the cherry goes on top, you know?

It’s kind of telling of how awesome God is, that as advanced as we are, we still can’t replicate the sweetness God created.

But that’s not really the point of this post, though I could ramble on about my favorite fruits for a while, and then ask the all-important question, who ever buys grapes with seeds on purpose?

No, what I’ve been thinking about lately is the Fruit of the Spirit. Those nine qualities us Christians are suppose to possess.

I’ve also been thinking about their polar opposites, which I must assume, are qualities we should attempt to rid ourselves of. I’m not sure what to call these, perhaps the vegetables of the non-Spirit? I don’t know. Are vegetables and fruits opposites?

I really don’t want to be responsible for giving veggies a bad rap, so I’ll just call them “the junk food of life.”

So, as I began listing these — love to hate, kindness to meanness, peace to chaos — I got to patience.

What’s the opposite of patience? Being in a hurry? Frantically rushing around? Being that pushy, anxiety-ridden person who nags everyone else around them to death?

Maybe it’s simply that angry feeling that comes over us while waiting 90 seconds for a Hot Pocket to microwave. Honestly, that’s the longest 90 seconds of life right there.

I’m going to go with the old “D — All of the above” answer here.

The more I thought about these negative characteristics, the more I realized, I far more resemble them, than I do patience. I mean, there are days when I’m on the edge of insanity rushing around trying to get tasks done or trying to accomplish assignments.

When I stepped back and got real with myself for second, I began to realize the abundance of negative effects my lack of fruit in this area has caused.

At times, I’ve people angry, — friends, family, co-workers, etc. — I’ve made myself miserable, and, too often, I’ve taken for granted and failed to be thankful for the multitude of blessings I’m surrounded with each day.

All because I lack patience.

Patience really might be the hardest of the Fruit to cultivate, and let’s be honest, there are times when it really doesn’t seem nearly as important as the others.

But it is, and when we step back and look at it, it’s easy to see how valuable it can be to our lives.

Maybe you’re like me and really struggle with this fruit. Maybe you’re like me and instead of feasting on patience, you find yourself settling a lot of junk food in this area of life instead.

It’s easy to do, junk food is quick. Fruit takes time. Fruit, ironically enough, takes patience.

I think one reason the characteristics of the Spirit are called “Fruit” is because fruit has to be grown. You can’t just pop it in the microwave, pace around your kitchen for three minutes, and expect it to grow.

It also takes work. Quality fruit trees or bushes have to be pruned, fertilized, and probably a lot of other things that I have no idea about. And even then, the fruit still has to be picked. It takes effort.

I love fruit. But more than fruit, I love the Fruit of the Spirit and believe growing these characteristics is one of the keys to living a life that doesn’t suck.

But in order to have that Fruit I so desire, I’ve got to do a little farming. I’ve got to make a conscience effort to really do work on myself and create an environment that will allow for growth.

It’s not going to be easy for me, especially when it comes to patience, but perhaps the fruit you have to work hardest for, turns out to be the sweetest.

Regardless, it’s got to be better than the quick junk food I’ve been settling for in life.




About travman44

I work as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia. I play as a writer specializing in deep thoughts on shallow, and occasionally not so shallow, subjects. I'm also a former history teacher, bible college alum, and lover of the NBA and kids' breakfast cereals. It's a delicate blend. -- @TravisKWilliams on Twitter
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