Need More Patience? Try This.

How quickly do we start to take the everyday wonders of this life for granted?

Just this past week I was getting my two sons ready for the pre-bedtime routine in our home. Do you have to prepare to prepare for bed? Prior to having children, you think that you just help your children get prepared for bedtime, but you quickly realize that there’s an extra step–the getting ready for the getting ready for bed. During the getting ready for the getting ready this past week, I stared into the eyes of my oldest son (who is turning four this week and who many refer to as my own “mini me”) and wondered to myself, “How does this happen?” How does a new life exist where it once did not? How does an infant proceed from the body of his mother? (Yes, I was there when it happened–I’m not questioning the anatomy and physiology, but instead thinking a little deeper.) How does an infant grow into a toddler, then into a preschooler, before you even realize what’s going on?

Why do we not continually find ourselves getting caught up in these moments of awe??? Why do we not give life the proper attention it deserves?

Do the demands of the everyday steal your “wondertime?” In our society and future-focused culture, the tasks of making it from wake to sleep on the daily tend to keep us from stopping to really wonder about what’s going on here.

This is not even a “let’s all allow what we see around us to point to the Judeo-Christian deity” moment. These are wonders whatever their source. Whatever you believe–if it’s a creative designer, random particles of matter coming together at just the right time, or aliens–allowing ourselves to be fascinated by the lives of our children is an absolute wonder. Just for the record, I do believe that there is too much order and the whole realm of science does point me to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the originator of it all. But even if you do not, stopping to ponder the wonders can still be helpful.

If in the moments when my patience is wearing thin with my children (or coworkers or myself) and I have not spent any time in awe of the wonders on which to fall back in that moment, then the remaining patience wears away in an instant. If, however, I have taken time to ponder the wonders in my life, then in those moments of impatience, somehow appreciating the wonder extends my patience.

So take some time to ponder the wonders. In those moments when everything in you is pushing on to the next task or appointment, just stop. Enjoy the moment and relax. You don’t even have to search for any specific answers. Just give yourself the space to think about how and why all of this happens. Let the questions resonate without any answers. Otherwise we end up taking the wonders for granted because we’re too focused on the next task or appointment and we’ve missed the opportunity to be in awe.

Maybe pondering the wonder won’t extend your patience or appreciation. But it sure seems to work for me and I’m grateful for it.

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