Harvey could hardly wait to get out of the music store in the mall. He finally had his own copy of the new Toe Jam CD, Temper Tantrum.
As he left the store, he turned the CD case sideways and scratched at the cellophane wrapper. "Come on," he said. "Come on." He kept scratching furiously until a thin strip of cellophane stood apart from the stubborn wrapper. "Finally," he sighed as he gripped the strip between his thumb and forefinger and pulled. A tiny, almost invisible piece of the wrapper came off. The rest of the wrapper remained intact.
Harvey gritted his teeth and turned the CD case over. He applied his thumbnail to the hinge of the CD case, running it up and down the ridge, hoping to break the wrapper. But the cellophane seemed to be unbreakable.
"Come on!" he growled. He stuck the CD case between his teeth and tried to bite the wrapper off. When that didn't work, he pulled a dime out of his pocket and tried to scratch the cellophane open with the side of the dime. Finally, he threw the CD case on the floor and started jumping up and down on it.
When he picked the CD up off the floor, the case was splintered, and the CD was scratched, but the cellophane wrapper was broken. "I DID IT!" he screamed in the crowded mall. He laughed like a maniac. "I DID IT! I OPENED IT! I WIN! I WIN! HA HA HA HA HA!"
Maybe you've never had an experience quite like Harvey's. Maybe you don't get impatient trying to peel the cellophane off a CD case. But you probably do get impatient with something, right? Maybe with waiting in the cafeteria line at school. Maybe with clothes that don't fit right. Maybe with bossy friends or nosy parents.
Regardless of what tries your patience, remember that patience is a virtue. That means it's a good thing. When you choose to be patient, you are choosing to do right.
But why is patience right? You probably know the answer already, don't you? (Careful-don't get impatient!)
Patience is right because God is patient. According to the apostle Paul, he has shown "great patience with even the worst sinners" (1 Timothy 1:16). He is patient with you. He's never given up on you. He's never quit loving you and helping you. And because God is patient, you should be patient, too, because patience is a virtue.
REFLECT: Do you think God has been patient with you? If not, why not? If so, why? What things (or people) try your patience the most? How can you be more patient?
PRAY: "God, thank you for being patient with me, even when I...
Help me to be more like you in this area, too. Help me to be more patient when..."