The connection between patience and faith is clear on the spiritual path. To have faith is to know that the Beloved, in whatever form you insist upon, is with you always. While that doesn’t mean that all of your temporal life ambitions will manifest as you prefer, the mere presence of the Beloved is a solace and a confidence. Knowing that you are not alone gives you patience, for you can trust in the higher wisdom that guides the unveiling without concern for the destination or the trials of the journey.
When it comes to being a provider, the stakes are immensely high. The destinations and the trials are of great concern for we who are completely identified with our families. This is how it should be, and this is also the most clear and widespread opportunity to exercise our faith that comes to most of us. Looking at our children’s faces, we know that our care and provision is one of the highest – if not the highest – of duties for that part of us bound up in time. Yet, we are most effective at that by releasing our constant striving and trusting in the daily bread.
I have told you nothing you did not already know, yet, in your heart of hearts.
Something that we often forget, though, is that every trial of patience is a trial of faith. You are not merely asked to reach for the Beloved’s hand when the opportunities you hope for do not manifest. What of the long line at the DMV or grocery store? Or the customer who insists on something that he or she will not provide the materials for? Or when your child continues to misbehave? What about when your spouse doesn’t address something of great concern to your household? How about the lingering physical or mental pain that is bearable moment-to-moment but doesn’t subside for days, weeks, or longer? Every instance where your patience is put to the test is a question of faith.
When you wait in a long line, perhaps your constant rushing is being denied so that you will avoid something that is not meant for you. Or, perhaps so that you will meet something that is. Perhaps the illogical customer or misbehaving child guides you to work on your communication. Perhaps the reluctant spouse or lingering pain is the very fire that will melt your golden cage of ego. The primary question is not whether you can uncover the life lesson being given to you as a trial of patience. The primary question is not even whether you are willing to sit in the rain. No, the primary question is simply whether you trust that the rain is needed to help your inner garden grow.
The intertwining of patience and faith is more visible in the valleys and mountaintops, but the artistry being accomplished in your inner altar is continuous. Whatever happens is an application of higher wisdom, but whatever doesn’t happen is also an application. Every day, every minute.
You know that terrible hold music you hear when you call the utility company? That too is a tumbling form of divine love. Take a breath. Practice your patience and faith.