Are you a patient person? I am… sometimes. I am not when I am really hungry. My family says when I get hungry I get a little “edgy.” I even have a tee-shirt that says, “I am sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” I need to do better in this area!
I am not patient when I have to wait in lines. I get the feeling that I have a “gift” for choosing the wrong lines at Wal-Mart. It seems I can pretty well count on a “price check” issue with the customer in front of me, which makes my Type-A personality traits pop up. I need some work here too!
Oh, I desire to be a patient person, but at certain times I find it challenging. Nevertheless, patience really is a wonderful virtue to possess. The following is validation of this fact.
Back in the 1960s a psychologist by the name of Walter Mischel conducted an experiment on preschoolers meeting on the campus of Stanford University. His objective was to determine if the trait of patience (or delayed gratification) had any bearing on their success in life.
The first test was relatively simple. The children were told they could have a treat, such as a marshmallow, immediately. Then they were given a second option. If they would wait for the experimenter to run an errand, they could have two marshmallows when he returned.
Some of the kids wasted no time in grabbing and downing the initial offering. Others decided to hold out for the double offer. However, their struggle was obvious. The next twenty minutes appeared to be an eternity for them. They covered their eyes to avoid seeing the temptation before them. They rested their heads on their arms. Some talked to themselves, others sang and a couple even tried to sleep to pass the time away. Eventually though, they gained great pleasure from receiving two marshmallows.
The experiment did not end here. There was a follow-up study on these same kids when they became teenagers. Those who had held out for the two marshmallows when four-year-olds were found to be more socially competent, self-assertive and more capable to cope with life’s frustrations. The one-marshmallow kids were more stubborn, indecisive and stressed.
The conclusion is obvious. Developing patience is important! In fact, the Bible says that having patience is an identifying fruit of Christianity (Galatians 5:22). It really is a virtue (2 Peter 1:6). And- - we probably all need to do better in this area.
Thus, let us begin cultivating our patience- - right now!