Bloggers Note: I am religious and do believe in Jesus. I do not post to offend people, I post as an avenue to gather my thoughts and feelings on different things. I, personally, look to the bible for help so if you choose to read this, know I am not trying to offend anyone in my post. :)
My kids at work are a handful and I have a huge problem with patience. I can't seem to not get irritated when they do something they know they are not supposed to do. Everything they choose is based on their feelings and emotions and it becomes exasperating because they do not think before they act. Then, when they do something wrong, they get mad and throw a tantrum because they were disciplined.
An example: We have a rule that no one can come out their rooms before they have checked out--getting their roIoms cleaned up, clothes are folded, bathrooms are cleaned and they have done their hygiene. It makes sure that ther is order and that the kids are not wandering around the unit being disruptive because they have nothing to do. One particular kid, out of excitement, likes to come out of his room and come say "hello" to me. It's cute. It's a nice gesture and it's polite. But he makes it an excuse for why it's okay to come out the room when it's perfectly as acceptable to just say "hi" from his doorway. So almost every morning, this is what he does and it becomes exasperating.
This is where 1 Thessalonians 5:14 comes in for me. It says,"Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone."
The last part, be patient with everyone, is where I have the biggest problem. Once I lost my patience, there is no tender care or teaching or warning or encouragement. I'm plain annoyed. Yet, this isn't the model Jesus presented for me. He was patient with everyone so in trying to follow him, I need to patient too.
Is this kid necessarily doing it on purpose? No. He's just excited and because he's excited he reacts and doesn't think about what he's doing. That's more tolerable than if he were to simply ignore the rule in place and did what he wanted to do anyway. That's where understanding where he is at comes into play.
I've coached basketball and in basketball understanding, a kid who doesn't know how to dribble, is not going to be able to get up the court very well without losing the ball. I understand that, therefore I have patience when teaching him. This may go on for months, maybe years depending on how quick of learner he is. In the same way, this kid doesn't know how to control his emotions in any form or fashion so when he's excited, he reacts. When he has any kind of emotion, he reacts. But he doesn't react within the confines of the rules. So, I have to teach him to do so and that may take months, even years.
Now I have to get over the hump that this has been going on for so long and I've become used to being irritated and have to reverse my pattern and instead, be patient like Jesus was patient and has been patient with me. This is the hardest part. I have my old habits tugging at me one way and I have the way I'm supposed tugging at me the other way. I start walking towards the way I'm supposed to go and then my old habits start trying to pull me backwards. It's a tough thing to fight because it's my familiar and easy way to do things. But I will continue to fight and practice keeping the right perspective so that I may help these kids for as long as I'm around.