Croskey’s Corner: Patience
“WAIT!!! JUST BE PATIENT!!!” … I know; it’s hard to do. Often, it takes a great deal of will power to be Patient.
One writer said that the American Prayer is:
“Lord, grant me Patience…and I want it now!” OK, maybe some of us still have a little to learn about Patience.
“I will change the things I can change and accept the things I cannot.” Many of you may recognize this as part of the Serenity Prayer. In that oft-quoted plea, one asks for the serenity to accept the things one cannot change, courage to change the things one can, and wisdom to know the difference. I have concluded that many times I do not have the wisdom to know the difference. Since I don’t have it, I am stuck with waiting until I can see the difference. But that waiting requires me to have Faith that the wait will be fruitful. Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want when I want it?!
I am reminded of Croskey’s Laws. What? You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” ) Gresham’s Law (Bad money drives out good) or Burke’s Law (an old TV show)? But not Croskey’s Laws?! Well, these are rules of living which I have made up as I watched my life unfold. For example, one law says that if you pull into a parking space in the parking lot of a grocery or discount store, the odds are better than 50-50 that someone else will try to get into or out of the car next to you while you are trying to get in or out of yours. (Talk about a need for Patience!) Another of Croskey’s Laws is that, if you live long enough, you get to be on BOTH SIDES of a problem. [I call it the Joni Mitchell Law; get it? Both Sides (Now) of a problem.] In my 60 plus years I have had many opportunities to see both sides of an issue. I was often very self-righteous and moralistic when I went through the First side of the problem. But by the time I was stuck experiencing the problem from the other point of view, I was swallowing a huge piece of humble pie and was not so cocky or self-assured. The good part of living long enough to experience Both Sides is that much of what I wanted at one time or another I have eventually gotten to have. True, I didn’t get it when I wanted. Truer, by the time I got it I no longer DID want it. Rather, I got what I wanted when I needed it, for the most part. I got it on what one writer calls “The Last Day.” The Last Day is the end; you don’t know when the End is coming, but you know it after it has actually arrived. Or, as my daughter says, “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
What has Both Sides taught me? First, I have to be careful when I think I am right because I may eventually know the other side of the story and may be sorry I was so quick to point fingers. Second, when I want something and don’t want to wait to get it, I need to learn to, indeed, wait. To wait for the End. Third, waiting, even faithfully, is very lonely. If I remember this stuff, then I can come to patience. Not out of willing myself to be Patient; rather, out of faith in knowing that I will someday get what I need but that I will often have to wait for the right time (the Last day) until I get it.
So, keep on trying to get what you need. But maybe you are like me; you don’t always get it when you are the most hungry. No matter. Be faithfully Patient. It will come to you on the Last Day, whenever the heck that is!