Faith Stories: Patience
Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger or exhibiting forbearance when under strain. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast.
The topic of patience has come up often in my personal life since fall 2013. At that time I was attending a Women’s Retreat where I had the opportunity to observe many of my St. John’s friends take key roles in the planning and execution of the weekend. During one of our sessions we were in the quiet sanctuary where it appeared to me that everyone had a purpose and a direction. I began to pray that I would hear God’s plan for me in this world; you know an easy answer or a simple task, but one that had meaning.
Instead of hearing some prophetic message of how I should proceed or how I would be of service to someone the only words I heard were “BE PATIENT,” and I heard those words loud and clear, very specifically the words were, Be Patient!
Not really what I wanted to hear, but I was actually content with those words – for the moment, but as the days and weeks after the retreat passed I was getting very IMPATIENT! I wanted to DO SOMETHING because it just didn’t FEEL like anything was happening in my life. I know many of us here at St. John’s have felt this way over the last several years with the progress of our building projects.
Well, just like I thought nothing was happening in my life and that wasn’t the case; the same has been true for the progress of the building projects. Over the last three years, as a church we have identified the areas of need for our campus, hired an architect, drawn plans for the gym (which are now out for bid from contractors), started on the plans for the Narthex, hired a capital campaign consultant, committed as a church to complete both phases of the project and now today we are embarking on our capital campaign to fund this project. Whew! That is a lot of work in three years. Part of me says now the hard work begins, or does it?
One of the lines in the definition of patience refers to the character trait of being steadfast. St. John’s for years has been steadfast in our efforts to be a light to others through service and gifts of time and money. Steadfast, I like that word – it describes our character as a church. A church that steadily moves forward persevering when times are easy or difficult, but always walking in faith. A church that is known in our community for feeding people both spiritually and physically.
As a church community we are not just beginning “The Walk.” We are continuing the walk that we have been on for 54 years. Although we all get impatient sometimes I know that this step in our journey as a faith community to raise $1.5 million is just that-a step. A step that we can turn into a leap with our prayers and our commitment, a step that will allow us to continue our mission and to be ready to take the next step.
For we, the people of St. John’s, walk by faith not by sight.
As presented during worship on October 4, 2015