This is personal to me. These 3 words are the foundation upon which I try to walk. People ask me what has changed in my life. The foundational character principles that I walk on is a major player in the transformation I have and am undergoing. See, as a soldier, these are three principles that are not taught in the military. These three principles couldn’t be further from mold of a soldier. When someone screws up, you discipline or punish them. No time is taken to try and understand, therefore no grace is given. There is no patience in trying to understand. It’s strictly see and react.
I was first impacted by this a year ago at Boulder Crest Retreat. Growing up in a Christian home I guess I always knew about this but as I moved into adulthood and moved away from my Christian upbringing I let it all slip away. There are 25 verses in the Bible that I know of that reference Grace. Merriam-Webster has some interesting definitions of Grace. To me, it’s similar to forgiveness. I will always screw up and I know other people will screw up as well. Giving mercy, approval and favor to others has helped to refill the “Joy Tank” in my life. I don’t expect it but when it’s given to me I appreciate it. It is something I have never given to my children until the recent year. You would be amazed at how much of a calming effect grace has on a person.
I have never had much patience for anything I didn’t agree with. I tell people “expectations only lead to hurt feelings”. If you have expectations you MUST have patience or you will live in the fireball of stress and anger. People pray for patience and God will usually give you the opportunity to LEARN it. Feelings, principles, skills are not just given to us, they are learned. You have to be tested to learn. If you continue to fail those tests and fail to submit and continually fight it, you will live in defeat. Patience is a wonderful thing. We all, should, know that you have to GIVE to GET. Again, we are all human. There is no perfect person breathing the air we do. No where. That being said, patience is critical to communication and harmony. Too many people lack patience in today’s day. Too many people have expectations and expect others to see things as they do, believe things as they do and do things as they do. Again…hurt feelings. You want to know one of the best tools to use when tested with patience? Breathing. Just breath and know that this life is temporary. The world will not end if things do not go your way. Be like a “reed in the wind” and be flexible. Patience is a true art that must be practiced. Your life will yield so much more piece once you realize that and begin to practice it.
For many years it was my way or the high way. I didn’t really care about the input of others. I didn’t really care to know about other people’s issues. Get stuff done and don’t let your personal life affect what is going on now. When people learn to control their mouth muscle and open their ears the amount of critical data absorbed is amazing. That’s why we have to ears and one mouth. Listening to people and truly working to understand them or the situation at hand will result in much more happiness than anger and confusion. Grace, patience and understanding go hand in hand. These three principles I never practiced and gave to anyone because I felt they were not given to me; even if they were. God in heaven is the only person who has given me His grace. He’s been patient with me to finally come around or when I have failed. I know He understands me because He created me. Truly trying to understand people opens the door to sympathy and empathy. People need that from others. People want to be understood.
Today’s writing is a little deeper than I usually dive. Tomorrow I may write do a review on my car. It’s the ebb and flow of the world I live in. The piece I’ve written today is one of the most important things in my life. When I finally returned home to a God centered life all of this began to make sense to me. Things began to fall in place. Tools to cope and deal with situations rarely work. You must practice skills learned to be proficient at those skills. Practicing Grace, Patience and Understanding has been a daily goal with me for almost a year. I have to tell you it has made the most impact on my life.
God bless you all and have a great day!!