Patience... Now!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 18 Comments A+ a-

Evan Almighty is seriously one of the cutest family movies I’ve seen in a LONG time. I was a little hesitant to see it because of its predecessor, Bruce Almighty. No offense to those that enjoyed the first, but I found it to be a little sacrilegious for me. But again, it’s my own opinion, take it as you will. Anyway, back to the point of this post, Evan Almighty. There is one scene involving Lauren Graham (as Evan’s wife) and Morgan Freeman (playing God) where they are discussing life and prayer requests. “God’s” reply was this:

“When someone prays for patience, do you think He gives them patience? Or does he give them moments to practice patience? When someone prays for courage, do you think God gives them courage? Or does he give them a moment to be courageous?”
Ok, whoa, wait a minute! I looked around the theater to see if this comment touched anyone else the way it touched me. It seriously felt like this quote was meant directly for my ears.

Since I started having my mornings with God, this is one of the prayer requests that I offer most at His feet. “Please, God, I ask that you grant me patience.” Those that know me, really know me, know that patience is not one of my strongest features. When I want something, I want it NOW. If you can’t do it fast enough, I’ll do it myself. And I am notorious for waiting impatiently at red lights. I am not proud of this, hence the reason it’s my most common prayer request.

Yet despite my prayer request, it never seemed to be answered. In fact, I often felt like things were getting worse. More than once, something would happen at work or home that would test my patience over and over again. And each time, I failed miserably in responding appropriately. Then I saw Evan Almighty, heard the above quote, and something clicked. As I look back over these weeks, I realize that God WAS answering my prayers. He was giving me more opportunities to practice patience. It makes sense, doesn’t it? God isn’t going to just give me patience because then really, what I have learned? Instead, I can take these opportunities as the experiences He intended them to be, practice sessions. And we all know that practice makes perfect (or almost perfect).

Since this truth was so graciously bestowed on me, I’m much more aware of when those moments are happening. There are still times that I’m slow on the upkeep but overall, I’m doing much better. Now, when a driver is going needlessly slow, or Devyn has pulled the third temper tantrum of the afternoon, I can plant my gaze heavenward and say, “Still teaching me, aren’t you?!”

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

18 comments

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1:13 PM delete

Hey Jenn! What a great quote from Morgan Freeman! Thank you for sharing this because I thorougly needed this.

I just realized how alike we are in the impatience area. lol I'm the same way: I want it done now and if not done, I'll do it myself!

I am hesitant to see Evan Almighty. I absolutely hated Bruce Almight because it was extremely sacrilegious in MHO. I just didn't see the humor and I'm always amazed at how many people think it was/is funny.

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1:35 PM delete

What a great quote and a great post! Thanks for sharing it. I did not see all of Bruce Almighty for the same reason you mentioned. However, I may have to check this one out! Best wishes as you practice your patience! How great that you are able to see these moments in such a different light now.

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AndiMae
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1:36 PM delete

Such a great post, Jenn. Sometimes I forget that in order to grow in character I have to go through experiences that allow me to practice what I am learning- this post and the quote are a good reminder of that! I especially loved the part about having that perspective with Devyn's tantrums- man, I need to remember that one :)

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aggiejenn
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1:45 PM delete

Yeah, I learned a while ago not to pray for patience unless I was ready to accept some more challenging situations in which to practice it. I have a BIG problem with being impatient!

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Paula
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1:49 PM delete

WOW!! I think the same thing. If you want more patience, or whatever, you'll get more chances to practice it. I will pray for you to have more as well as myself!! Because I NEED IT!
I have heard Evan Almighty is betterr from others. Maybe I will try to see it.

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Lange Mom :o)
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2:02 PM delete

Jenn
Yep.you are a LOT like me! I have little patience in a lot of things. Excellent quote to reflect upon and think about. I do believe that sometimes waiting for something that is desired is worth the wait compared to somthing that is quickly given. Good thought for my day....thanks!
By the way.my impatience gave me a speeding ticket today. I learned the hard way to not get where I am going so fast.
Love ya! Auntie Bernie

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Amy
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2:14 PM delete

Oh, the teaching moments...love those;)

I'm the same way as far as patience goes. I'm praying that through my ups and downs, God is refining me!

Great post!

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HappyMama
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3:19 PM delete

Thank you very much for this post. I really needed to hear this today. I am so much like you in that I am not very patient and sometimes it gets me in trouble. I love the quote that you posted from Morgan Freeman - it is very, very true and such a wonderful reminder that when we ask God for things, He shows them in His own way.

I really want to see Evan Almighty, but Kevin and I haven't been to the movie theater since December. Maybe we'll have to schedule a date night!

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Wendy
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3:27 PM delete

I can relate to the impatience thing. I thought I was patient, and then I had kids.

Great quote, so true. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I want to.

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Elise
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3:34 PM delete

We loved that movie, too! Hesitant, yes, after the first one, but this was really, really great.

And that quote did the same thing for me - I looked at Kevin in astonishment - duh! I throw my hands in the air and say, "Sheesh, I asked for patience, and I think you must have misunderstood me to say impatience, Lord!" :)

Ever since, I've been mindful of the small ways God is acting around me, the things put into my path to practice patience. It's a refining, which is the best kind of gift. (((Jenn)))

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Christina
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4:18 PM delete

My mommy friends and I have this little saying, "Whatever you do NEVER pray for patience!" lol It's all for laughs but we know that God does answer patience prayers with "practice moments" more often then showering us with the fruit. Great post! :-)

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Org Junkie
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6:26 PM delete

Oh yes, I stopped praying for patience long ago, not because I couldn't use some but because the opportunities to practice were killing me!!

I can't wait to see the movie :)
Laura

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crystal
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6:23 AM delete

Ahhhh.. this fits my life so well. I have just started reading your blog. I will definately be back. I am not a patient person at all and it is one of the things I pray for daily. I think I will start learning from my test now. THank You

Crystal
prayingmomof3.blogspot.com

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Deidre
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11:41 AM delete

What a great quote! I've always heard to never pray for patience, but to pray for wisdom instead.

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Stacey
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11:53 AM delete

Okay are you like my long lost seperated at birth sister?? Because I have written a post about Evan and it has a lot to do with that scene as well!! I certainly loved the movie - I took Em to see it.
About Bruce....well, I did think it was funny, but also insightful in it's own way. There were serious flaws with the movie that were at times offensive - certainly NOT a family film, but I will write a post about the theological insights we saw present. We actually have a group of strong Christians that get together a couple times a year to watch and discuss movies and we did discuss BA at length that night. Again, I am agreeing with you that there were offensive parts, but some of the insights were also valuable - and perhaps some of the insights blessed/touched the hearts of the unchurched/churched who saw it. You know, just like that moment from EA blessed you. Thank goodness, God is not bound by our humanness and can work good through a movie like BA, yes?

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Liz
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8:30 PM delete

I was silly enough to think I would be such a patient mommy...and then I had my kiddos...boy was I wrong! Patience is something I struggle with daily.

Thanks for sharing that quote. I just saw the movie last night and really enjoyed it! I loved that scene, it spoke to me. I also like the scene where Evan sees God for the first time and he says, "Do I know you?" Morgan Freeman says, "Not as much as I'd like." I thought that was a pretty cool moment.

Anyway, enjoyed your thoughts...as I do every time I stop here. :)

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dareth
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1:20 AM delete

This is why I don't pray for patience...just kidding :)

I loved the movie, I saw it twice on opening weekend. That was one of my favorite parts of the movie as well. I felt like it spoke a lot of truth.

And I can relate to Evan...how often do I try to ignore the leadings in my life because they might feel uncomfortable??

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Joy
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2:36 PM delete

We saw this movie over the weekend. I liked it too. And yes that part really touched me too. Ah, patience is a tough one for me. But my children are oh so thoughtful about giving me plenty of opportunities to be patient... or fail miserably... :)

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