An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. – quiet, steady, perseverance, even-tempered, care, diligence.
Whenever I see someone being impatient like a driver overtaking a slow car and then take a turning two seconds later, I hear myself saying “Patience is a virtue”. I’m not really sure when I first heard that phrase, it was probably uttered by my parents when I was stomping my feet wanting to open my presents at Christmas. As a child being virtuous is a bit of a hard concept to grasp – trying to maintain behavior of a high moral standard, but as an adult and particularly as a slave the concept of being virtuous is quite interesting, especially when it relates to values that to me are at the core of being a slave such as honor, integrity, decency and dignity. Laterally this phrase has been joined by another related one – “All good things come to he who waits”, which always makes me think about what the good things might be that i’m waiting for but also how long do I have to wait?
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – its how we behave while we’re waiting Joyce Meyer
As a slave waiting and hanging around is something I do an awful lot. Even though I have the autonomy to plan my own day pretty much, I have certain expectations placed on me. I am at my Masters beck and call, so I might have to drop what I am doing to make a drink or drive him somewhere. I draw on my patience when I would like him to leave his office at home to eat the food that I have prepared for him. He is often quite focused on what he is doing, sometimes I worry that the food will be cold before he arrives. Another example of patience is when I wait quietly at his side when we are at a party or pub munch as he speaks to a friend, before he instructs me on what he would like to drink and also where we are going to sit. We can be stood for quite some time depending on the conversation, and my grasp of Swedish is not always sufficient for me to understand everything that is being said, it can be hard for me not to show my frustration at being bored and impatient.
However I do find calmness as I wait patiently for his silent nod that he gives me before I am allowed to eat. Even if I am starving I wait calmly for his permission. Sometimes he makes me wait just a little longer, and this heightens the feeling of his control. So why do I need to focus on my patience? Well it’s yet another reminder of what it is to be a slave. I am here to serve him, to please him, to obey him and to try to make his journey through life a little smoother. We may both travel this path together, but he is the guide, he controls the speed and the direction, I merely follow.
Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself St Francis de Sales
The important factor is the manner in which I follow. I am always aware, particularly in the company of others of my demeanor. I try to serve and behave in a way that is pleasing to my Master, by being quiet when necessary, and acting calmly and diligently when tasked. My aim is to bring credit to him by my actions and behavior.
My own personal lack of patience comes mostly from frustration. Maybe it’s when I am disrupted in a task or when my planned day is turned upside down for some reason. It is part of my ongoing struggle with giving up control to my Master. By trusting that my Master knows best and by grasping the realisation that there is no point in fighting against these decisions, allows me to relax into a frame of mind that quietens my frustration and allows me to enjoy the calmness that comes from being patient.