Turn your “I must” into these five words

Padre Rosinski

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Marcin Rosinski

When I was a little boy, I kept in touch with friends I met during my holidays by writing letters. Usually we exchanged messages quite regularly, which made me look forward to looking for a postman – because maybe today I will get a reply to a letter sent a few or dozen days earlier?

With the Internet era, the expectation that accompanied many everyday situations began to shorten. It takes seconds to send an email, so we refresh our email inbox every few minutes, because we cannot wait for a message. We are irritated by the slow loading page, because we have become accustomed to the fact that normally it appears instantly.

This habit is so strong that we also become irritated in everyday situations, like when a bus or a plane is late or the queue in the store moves at the speed of a turtle. It’s getting harder for us to wait. Increasingly, we think that we have the right to demand — from others, from the world and even from God — that answers to our questions or requests appear immediately.

Technology is awesome and the equipment we use is more and more perfect: smaller, lighter and faster. There are, however, things that cannot be accelerated, and that does not mean they are far from perfect. The grain that falls into the ground germinates at its own pace. No matter what I do to speed up the process it will bear fruit in due time.

There is little we can do to help. Yes, we can create the best conditions for its development, water it and fertilize the soil, but we must wait patiently for growth, flowers, development of the fruit and harvest.

Patience is very much connected with hope. If we had no hope of harvesting fruit from previously sown seeds, we would give up all the efforts because they would not make sense. But when we focus on the fact that after some time we will taste good fruit, it’s easier for us to wait. So maybe where we lack patience, should we also ask for hope? Maybe it is not lack of patience that is our real problem, but
the lack of faith that something can really change in our lives?

Perhaps there is something you would like to change in yourself. Perhaps as a person responsible for others (parent, educator or supervisor), you are waiting for such a change in the other person. Think about how many times you tried to push such a change. How often have you acted forcefully or required quick effects from yourself or others? What would happen if you changed “I have to!” to “I will give myself time”? If you chose gentleness instead of force?

Here’s an exercise for you: think about which of your tasks or responsibilities irritates you: what do you usually want to do as soon as possible and what do you avoid? Today, try to do it more slowly, calmly, patiently. It is not about suffering or adding additional burdens – just try to consciously choose this way of proceeding.

How do you feel about that?