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Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Success and Diligence

A person is recognized as successful when they achieve an objective, attain a goal or complete a task.

This is not the only measure of success, but it serves well.

It is success writ small.

This definition begs us to differentiate between succeeding at the small things, the interim things, and even the long term campaign, to differentiate between those things and the perception of a person as a success, write large, which are the differences between the verb, the adjective and the noun.

To be perceived as a success; by society, by one’s peers, friends or family, is different than succeeding or being successful at the fulfillment of individual goals; daily tasks, the weekly routine, the monthly program, or the annual campaign.

Let me reiterate:

A person is recognized as successful when they achieve an objective, attain a goal or complete a task.

This is what really matters, the small things that lead to the greater.

The objectives they strive for can be anything; from making the bed in the morning to abstaining from vice, from running a marathon to completing a college degree, from digging a ditch to learning how to fly.

It is the doing that matters, for to have done is not enough. If I may be cliché; it is the journey not the destination that forms our character, making us into the people we are too become.

When a person rises above their difficulties, faces down the challenges that come their way, whatever those challenges may be, on whatever occasion they present themselves, whether those challenges are expected or not, then the individual succeeds.

Some objectives are simple, some goals are one dimensional. Some tasks have a single movement, while others are more complex, multi-dimensional and ongoing.

To prepare for a marathon and to succeed at the running of it, the runner must first meet the challenge of hundreds of smaller objectives, a thousand minute goals strung together like pearls.

There are days and weeks and months of training, running and running and running more.

Each and every day there are objectives to be met.

On race day, the marathon itself will become broken down into a series of steps, one mile at a time, one turn around a corner, one slip around a bend, footfall by footfall climbing each and every hill; crossing the finish line
     
To succeed, especially in those long term objectives, the individual must take account of the myriad of uncontrollable variables that constitute the reality of daily living.

Unexpected things will happen, they must be accounted for and adjusted to.

Among those variables the competing goals and objectives of other people; other runners, other students, your professors, your teachers and your peers, your family, your intimate partner, your co-workers and colleagues, your employer, all of whom may having objectives of their own, even objectives for you, that compete with or present conflict for what you intend to do.

Even total strangers, people that are completely unknown to you, have interests that intersect with our own, that may present both challenges and opportunities for the fulfillment of our aims.

To complete a college degree, dozens of credits must be accumulated, classes taken, tuition paid; hundreds of tests and quizzes taken, books read, papers written; a thousand days or more spent attending class, learning and adjusting to the individual peculiarities and proclivities of each and every professor, hour upon hour of study.

The pursuit of that degree is a single objective, built on a shifting platform of interim goals, on which individuals will encounter their limitations, meet with failure, be forced to change direction, disentangle themselves from their ambitions, search for and discover alternate paths, all before they finally succeed, which they can if and only they persist.  

It requires constant discipline, commitment and deep engagement.

This is the frame-work within which success occurs, it is success writ small, in the only script that matters, for the only successes are the small ones, brick by brick, laying the foundation for the grand edifice.

Success writ large is another thing altogether

No matter how many times we write the story of our successes, to be a success, to be perceived as such by another, that is a con-game trading in illusions.

Success cannot be inherited.

Success is not the measure of a person’s wealth and holdings

Neither is success a measure of a person’s social standing.

Success is the measure of what you have done, in relation to what you had set out to do.

Success writ large, to be seen as such by another, to be viewed as the archetype of that moniker, that is like dwelling in a mirage.

A strong wind may blow it away.

To succeed at complex objectives, a person must hone their abilities, acquire the requisite skills, plan their actions accordingly, and their actions must be honest.

By the repetition of these steps, obstacles are overcome, while detriments are turned into benefits, like a judo master who has learned to use the strength of her opponent against him.

When a person succeeds it is always through diligence, determination, and the steady application of effort.

In order to create the life you have a dreamt about, you must pursue your goals with patience and unceasing engagement both, watching your dreams develop like you might watch the movement of water, like a wave making its progress to the pebbled shore, alternating slowly-imperceptibly as it moves through its peaks and troughs.

Practice mindfulness, and you will know when it is time to pour energy into your work, and when it is time to let it rest.

Both are important, and each in their time.

Even if we succeed at the small things, the larger measure may still escape us, we might never receive recognition or accolades for the things we do, and yet that should not deter us, not even a little bit.

Success writ large, to be seen as such by your peers and in the eyes of the world, this is less important than success writ small; to having done the things and taken the steps that prepare you for the way; from making the bed in the morning, to lacing up your running shoes, from picking up that book and turning the page.

The pursuit of our goals must be steady, like the flow of the river running its course to the sea.


Like the river we must seek the path of least resistance, reach into our lowest places, finding our purpose and filling ourselves up from there.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Patience

Patience is a virtue, a strength…you have heard it said.

Indeed it is, and while virtue connotes a masculine strength, from the Latin: vir, meaning: man, women are the paramount exemplars of this trait.

Of all the qualities that a human may possess, of all the ways in which a person may engage the world, the way of patience is the most beneficial, blessing both the individual and the whole, by the ability to wait, to watch, to see things develop.

Women throughout the world are patiently waiting: waiting for justice, for recognition, for equal treatment under the law, and while they wait they spend their energy holding up the structure of society, by being as exemplars of civility to us all.

Patience is emblematic of self-control, courage, and respect.



Pray for calm, daily.
Be patient, always.
Seek understanding…this is the way of the wise.


Patience is not indifference, the patient disposition is one of expectation.

When we are patient, we are patient for something; the patient one it is not disinterested. They are engaged beneath the surface, viewing time on a scale that extends beyond the immediacy of the moment, seeing resolution in the movement of each part, like following a wave in its progress to the shore.

Where there is patience, there is hope.


A patient disposition, when manifest, yields to the individual the opportunity to find the meaning in the life they experience, to understand it, know themselves and to comprehend our relationships to each other.



Discernment requires patience.

As the unexamined life is not worth living (or so the one man said), the greatest value in living comes to the patient examiner, to she who is slow and steady, methodical and caring.


The patient-one is un-perturbed, or if upset, returns to the place of clarity, like water seeking its level.


The patient archer strikes the target.
The patient doer achieves her goal.


Patience engenders accuracy and surety, communicates confidence, enables trust.

Patience is like a spring of clear water, in that it blesses everything and harms nothing.


Patience heals, wash yourself in it.
Your patience will sustain you, like mana in the wilderness.


Where patience is absent, a storm is advancing, where present it is a cooling breeze, divine and tranquil.


Patience is the way of salvation.

Patience is the love a mother has for her child; kind and enduring.


Develop patience, like a reflex, make it first, not second nature.


Practice patience, and be led by it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 18:1 - 8 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.10.16

On Justice


Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’

  And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’


Patience


Endeavor to persevere.

Do not lose heart, or hope, trust in the goodness of your actions, even if they do not bear fruit; the good is never wasted.

Justice may come from people who have no interest in it. Nevertheless, a just result is a just result.

Do not wait for justice but strive for it. Persistence is its own reward.

Do not wait for God to deliver you from your troubles here on earth, be patient, and in keeping with the way of Jesus; seek justice through mercy, and love, and kindness.

This may not change your circumstances, but it will change you, that is where you find salvation.



29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 15:1 - 32 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.09.11

The Good Shepherd, The Good Steward, The Good Father

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

  ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

  ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

  He also said, ‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

  ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.

  ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

  ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

  ‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’
 (NJB)
God is Patient
The readings for today are about stewardship, service, and belonging.
There are not two kingdoms. There is only what belongs to God; God who created the universe, in whom all things exist, and by whom we all live and breathe.
There are not two kingdoms, as there are not two sheep-folds, and there is only one shepherd. Even the sinner, depicted here as the lost sheep, belongs to God, and not some other nameless non-existent being.
No matter where you are, no matter who you are, you are God’s beloved.
You are more precious to God than a sum of great wealth. If you have lost your way God will find you, listen for the voice of the divine, you can hear it in your own breathing, be mindful, and sensitive to tug at your heart, that is the hand of God pulling you in. Every sinner is welcome, no matter what state you are in. Your return is an occasion of joy.
God is like the farmer, and the householder, whose son returns after squandering his inheritance.
Most of us (in one way or another) are like the prodigal child; eager, self-centered, ungrateful, and pushy.
We demand things that we have not earned, and squander what does not belong to us. We lead shameful lives, either in public or in private. We are small minded and petty. We get into trouble and look back to those who have always been there for us. We look to those who love us; knowing that we can count on their love again.
God is the loving parent, and we are each of us the sinful child. Some of us have the character of the spendthrift son who squandered everything and found himself, destitute, and a stranger in a faraway place, others of us are like the stalwart child who stayed by their parent’s side doing everything that was asked; from a sense of duty and not from love.
Some of us learn from our mistakes, and come to know the meaning of love, turn around and come home.
Others of us are so hardened by pride that we cannot forgive those who do not lead lives as exemplary as ours.
God is patient, and waits for them both.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of John 10:27-30 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.04.17

The Shepherd Calls

Jesus said:

‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’

(NJB)

Hope Follows Trust as Patience Follows Love…and the God of US

The sheep do not choose the shepherd, but rather, it is the shepherd who chooses the sheep.

Jesus, the Christ, the Word of God; in whom all that is comes to be, it is to Jesus that everything belongs.

To us Christians; Jesus is the shepherd, and the Shepherd is God; God, the creator of the universe.

There is just the one shepherd; just the one sheepfold, and whether it make sense to us or not, it is to that shepherd that we all belong.

Listen for the voice of the shepherd, and do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text, to your sister, or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger. 
The shepherd is speaking to them to, and they are listening as they are able (or willing).

Everyone that is, everyone without exception follows in the way of God, there is no other way. Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey any other person is on, God is guiding them, as God is guiding you.

If you resist, God will be patient, God will wait, as God waits for everyone. For God, Jesus, the shepherd, they are love, and love is patient; as it is kind.

God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God. No matter what; God is with us, because there is not place, not a single place where God is not.


4th Sunday of Easter