Patiently on the road again

Published 4:22 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

After surviving a trip to north Georgia with a couple of the grandchildren right after Christmas, we had to make another trip to Athens due to the sickness and death of a family member.  Like the previous trip, it was quite an adventure.

The journey consisted of two vehicles and seven people—all girls except me.  I had ladies ranging from fifty-seven years to three months.  You have probably already guessed that it brought a few challenges my way.

When I travel, I am destination oriented—I like to stick with the road and make stops that are limited in duration.  But I found out quickly that that was not possible with all those girls on board.  Between restroom stops and feeding and changing requirements for the baby, there was no need for me to even think about trying to rush things.

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During one stop to refuel, it was an opportunity to make good use of time—there were clean facilities available for the big girls and ample parking space so Raegan’s needs could be taken care of by her mother.  My job was to pump fuel, which went smoothly and quickly.  Raegan, on the other hand, was in no hurry to finish her bottle.  She finally finished that requirement, but the wait was not over; every bottle requires a diaper change.  Finally all the details were taken care of for a while—or so I thought.

With both cars back on the road, I hoped it would be some time before we had to stop again, but that was too good to be true.  After riding for less than ten minutes I was informed that Mallory had to make a restroom stop.  I consider myself as a reasonably understanding person, but with us having just left adequate facilities a few miles up the road I was not a happy camper.  Nevertheless, we made an unplanned stop before continuing on our way toward Donalsonville.

If we will take time and pay attention, there are usually lessons to be gained from the frustrating adventures of life.  The lesson I needed to gain from that trip was the importance of patience.  I will not say that as I result of what I endured over those few days that I am now a fully patient person, but it gave me some opportunity to grow in that needed trait.

Some increase in patience might be realized through self-effort and maybe even from maturing as an adult, but those means are limited.  Real sustained growth in patience and all positive characteristics in life need strength from outside of self to be fully realized.  As the writer of the Book of Galatians was expounding upon the importance of walking with God in a way that pleases Him, he pointed out that allowing the Holy Spirit to be the controlling factor is of absolute necessity:  “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16, New International Version).

As we allow the Holy Spirit of God to have more and more control of our lives, it impacts how we conduct ourselves and enables us to acquire characteristics that please God. 

In Galatians 5, we find a description of the fruit of the Spirit that can be produced in our lives as we walk closely with God.  That beautiful display of spiritual fruit in the life of the child of God is made up of many components, and included among them is patience:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). 

The road of life will be much more comfortable and meaningful if we will exercise patience along the way.  May we all patiently allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate our lives so that we produce fruit that is pleasing to Him.