A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow

Day 6: Patience (Matthew 6:34)

The great author and teacher Dallas Willard was once asked to describe Jesus in one word. Many of us would say Lord or Loving or Powerful or Compassionate. Dallas Willard’s one word: “Relaxed.”

Along similar lines, John Ortberg, another pastor and author, asked Willard for spiritual advice or guidance. His simple admonishment was, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry.”

We are addicted to immediacy and convenience. We have more technological advancements than ever before, yet our schedules are more loaded than ever, too. We don’t have patience for distractions and interruptions. This reality, counterintuitively, is leading to more stress, worry, and anxiety – not less.

Yet Jesus, the most sought after Teacher in history, basically told his followers to chill. Stop worrying so much about the future, each day has enough trouble of its own. It amazes me how often Jesus makes room for the interruptions. He takes time for the woman at the well, the leper who wants human contact, the children who need a blessing, the woman with the bleeding issue, the random tax collector up in the tree.

And then there is the incredible patience he shows toward his own disciples, as boneheaded as they could be. Time and time again, they don’t get it. They don’t understand. They make fools of themselves, argue about stupid things, and even want to call a heavenly airstrike against some towns. Jesus just shakes his head, lets out a sigh, and keeps working with them.

May we learn patience from our Teacher. May we make room for the interruptions. May we make allowance for others’ mistakes. May we learn to live an unhurried life as we walk with Christ.