Originally written July 8, 2012.
Good afternoon. The Priestess spoke truth, the topic of today's sermon is patience.
There is a simple saying that we so often pass on to children: "good things come to those who wait." It is a sound phrase that rewards those who honor it well, but as we get older, we learn that there is far more to patience than simply waiting.
At times, you can wait and indeed be rewarded. That is what the children's lesson teaches. But other times, you may wait and receive nothing, and you feel as if you were taught the wrong lesson.
The fact of the matter is that patience and waiting are not one in the same, yet we are taught they are.
To wait is to idle, to resort to inaction, to allow the actions of others or events dictate what is to follow. To be patient is to resort to your own action while also monitoring the action of others. There is a difference.
It is simplest to put it in the context of teaching a child, or mentoring.
A child can be selfish, a child has difficulty understanding the world. At times, they stray or become frustrated. They speak out of turn, perhaps event insult. They steal one another's toys, they do not listen. Many call this a phase. It is true, we often grow out of it. But to wait for a child to grow out of this phase is to let the child act out while you do nothing. To be patient with the child is to understand why they act in such a childish way, then have the patience to guide them out of that phase.
Patience is not a commanding presence, or one way of doing things. It is listening, understanding.
For those you must be patient with, you must listen to them, understand them, see what areas they must grow, and you must guide them in ways that benefit them most.
This philosophy also applies to yourself.
You are a person, you were once a child, you were incomplete. Likewise, you cannot wait for you yourself to suddenly grow or snap out of a phase. You must be patient and guide yourself, understand and listen to yourself, and have the patience to be the guide to a new phase, to a new understanding.
The Third Virtue is Compassion, and indeed the hardest to learn. Much of what I spoke of can be related to this Virtue. Compassion is more than gifting a beggar on the street one gold coin. Aye, perhaps you have alleviated his hunger for a day, but you have done little else. To fulfill the Third Virtue to that beggar, you would listen to him, understand him, know why he is on the streets, and whether you are the individual who could end his suffering – or if you are not.
So listen to that beggar, understand him, know him better. Then be patient in guiding him to where he is better meant to be.
Perhaps he cannot read, and therefore can only work as a laborer. Perhaps that wage is not enough to sustain him. Perhaps he is ill, and does not know the Cathedral of Light freely heals those who come to its doors. Perhaps he assumes he needs coin to be healed – because you need coin for many things. Perhaps he thinks he is alone.
If you wait for this man to fix himself, to stop begging on the streets, you may see him on the same street corner for years.
"Good things come to those who wait" – that is only if good things move by themselves. Simply put, they do not. Good things must be moved.
So in that vein, be patient with yourself and those around you. Waiting will not reward you with the many things you deserve, or wish to be. But taking action will.
Let us have a moment of silence to reflect on patience, as well as remember those in the past who gave the gift of patience to us. Our parents, mentors, teachers, confidants – whoever has given you such a gift.
Light bless you, citizens of the Alliance.