Archive for September 27th, 2006

Patience: Learn by Doing

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Today’s scripture: Galatians 5:19-25 & James 1:2-5 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

When I was a teenager, my dad invited my brother and me to go horseback riding. In the weeks leading up to our trail ride, I read everything I could about horses and riding. I even watched a few westerns. I had never ridden a horse before, but with all my reading and watching I was sure I could handle the situation. And I couldn’t wait!

The people in charge of the horses asked us about our experience levels. My dad and brother told them they had no experience, so the folks gave them a short lessen. I, on the other hand, told them I didn’t need a beginner lessen. I had spent weeks prior to this big riding session reading and studying horseback riding.

So with no lessens I hopped up on my horse and away I went. I did really well for awhile, but then it started to rain a bit and I guess my horse hated rain because she started running toward the barn. I was so flustered I had no idea what to do. I didn’t remember reading about this situation in any of my books!

As the horse sped to the barn, my life flashed before my eyes. I knew there wasn’t enough room for me and the horse to clear the barn door, so I was about to be clotheslined! I wished I had taken the lesson!

Twenty feet before I was body slammed into the barn, one of the instructors caught up with me and grabbed the reins. She tugged the reins and said “Whoa!”. Thankfully, my horse slowed down. I was saved!

I learned more about riding horses in that moment than I had learned in weeks of reading. There are just some things you can only learn through doing.

I guess patience is kind of like my horse back riding adventure. You can read about it, even write about it, but you really only “get it” when you are out there living it in your real life.

That is what the reading in James is saying to me today. I don’t like the reading from James. In fact, it is the kind of scripture that makes me want to SCREAM! I hate to be told to “consider if joy” when going through times of trial! I hate “trials”! But I do understand, that in the midst of trials there is an opportunity to grow patience. I have a choice when facing trials. I can gripe and whine or I can press on and keep practicing patience and endurance.

Thought for the day: How do I look at the trials in my life? Do I see them as opportunities to grow the fruits of the spirit?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Steve Adams and Cindy Dollard, who lead the Living With Integrity class.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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