Sick+woman+on+couchI’ve spent most of the last month battling the nasty creeping crud I caught from my family. Let’s just say I’ve experienced about every symptom possible from the lungs up followed by total-body weakness that served as a flashback to my days on the couch with chronic fatigue syndrome.

But my calendar and to-do list don’t care that I’m not feeling remotely close to 100%. Work deadlines. Personal writing goals. Blogs to post. Social media networking. Laundry, meals, and baseball games. I’ve re-shuffled tasks practically every day in order to get the most critical stuff done. But I can’t help wondering when I’ll feel good again … and can start to catch up.

That brings me to this week’s character quality of patience.

Patience is accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. The ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset. To persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.

Endurance is easier if I know when it will be over. That yoga-ish plank move designed to build core strength? Count down the quivering seconds as you hold the position. Broken arm in a cast? Three to six weeks of itching agony. School year drawing to a close? Check the boxes off the calendar.

But what about those situations we face that don’t have a clear end in sight? Raising a child with special needs? A difficult family situation? Financial troubles? Chronic fatigue syndrome or mono (twice) or shingles or a year of arthritis symptoms caused by a virus … or a month sidelined by a lingering cold?

Patience is keeping a good attitude without demanding a deadline, even if a particular situation might not end until Heaven.

What about you? What difficult situations are you facing right now? Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? What does patience look like?

Character Matters – Patience