During a recent sermon, I quoted the following poem, “Patience is a virtue, catch it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.” This poem points out the differences between men and women by suggesting that women have more patience than men. Although in a general sense this may be true, I can honestly say that my father exhibited more patience than most people I have met. It is true that men and women possess different character traits because of their gender but we have to be careful that we don’t over analyze such differences. In fact Sandra Marchetti recently wrote the book, Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Earth . . . Deal with It! in an effort to encourage us not to take the “Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus” concept too far.
That said, what strikes me most in this little poem is that human beings in general have little patience. For most of us, waiting is not easy. And our culture does not teach us how to wait well. Our technologies move faster and faster so we don’t have to wait. We have more information and other things at our fingertips than ever before. So today, the idea of nurturing the virtue of patience appears to be a pretty tall order.
This time of year seems to provoke more waiting and patience than other times. As the month of February comes to an end, the cold and snowy months force us to wait for warmer and milder temperatures. Sometimes it feels as if it takes forever for Spring to arrive when we are in the midst of winter.
At the same time, we find ourselves waiting during this time of year as we move through the season of Lent. Lent is a time to focus on penitence and the dark aspects of life as we await the beauty of the resurrection of Easter Sunday. It takes time to embark on the Lenten journey. We muddle through six weeks of sacrifice and then we make our way through the humbleness of the Love Feast on Maundy Thursday and the subsequent darkness of Good Friday. But it is worth the wait. Because the light of Easter Sunday reminds us of the light and life of Jesus Christ which is everlasting and eternal. As a male or female, you may argue that you have more patience than others. You may be right. But it’s important to remember that some things are definitely worth waiting for. In fact, I like waiting for Easter Sunday each year because the wait reminds me that the love and grace of Jesus Christ are things that come with a cost. They require faith and sacrifice and patience. And regardless of the cost, the love and grace of Christ are things certainly worth the wait.