April 22, 2020

“Patience is a virtue, learn it if you can; seldom found in women and never found in men.” I will not speak for anyone else, but the last four words of this adage speak of the journey of my life. I was not a patient child and I do not think I worked at learning. In about the third grade, I actually “killed” the kite I was trying to fly. It was not working, and in frustration, I hit it with the stick on which the string was wound, creating a tear. Hard as I tried, the tear could never be repaired and the kite never flew.

As a young adult, I knew this had to change, and I have worked hard at developing patience. No one has been more helpful than my patient wife, Carol. By God’s Grace, I have come a long way, but the journey is not complete. In recent days, I have realized this to a greater extent because of the virus and the lockdown we are experiencing.

At first, it was almost a novelty – more time at home and a much quieter environment. Except for the amazing people who are trying to keep us alive, the world kind of stopped for almost everyone else. But then we got busy doing work from home, teaching our children online and offering worship services without being together. The weeks are adding up and the projections indicate we may be doing life this way for some time.

I admit to having some challenges with my patience during all of this. I want to be where people can stop by to chat. When someone is in the hospital, I want to be able to visit them. Apparently, I am not alone in this struggle. In America, we fix problems and get on with life. But this is a different kind of problem. People are getting anxious and some are willing to risk endangering lives by not taking sufficient time until it is safe for more interaction.

I am so very grateful for the internet and the ability to connect via email, texting, Facebook and phone. I cannot imagine going through this without these tools, like our world did during the horrible flu pandemic of 100 years ago. There is good that will come out of this as we take a deep breath, evaluate and make some course corrections in our life journey.

I pray that impatience will not spoil what Creator God has in mind to teach us. Thank you for reading these thoughts. Perhaps you, too, are finding this a time of learning patience.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

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