You may rest assured, my dear friend, that what best guarantees our perfection is the virtue of patience; and if it is necessary to practice this virtue with others, it is right to exercise it first of all towards ourselves. Those who aspire to the pure love of God need patience with themselves even more than with others.This was the quote yesterday for the Daily Blessings email and I was especially moved to write a blog considering my specific theme - waiting for patience!
- Saint Padre Pio
Patience exercised toward myself is the area of patience that I need the most work on in the regular practice of my life. So I thought I would write about the areas where I am most impatient with myself.
1. Physically - In the last three years I have made a significant improvement in my health. I add 65 less pounds to the earth. I can do more at the gym than just the elliptical (started there and it was hard enough to do 20 minutes). I can run for 15 minutes straight on the treadmill - um, that again for a second - I can run for 15 minutes straight on the treadmill!!! I eat very healthy including a regular menu of salads, fiber-full vegetables, little desserts (Sundays only), and a more portion controlled life.
ALL THAT being said, I am still frustrated at how the scale refuses to go down, or the jean size just isn't good enough (down 5 jean sizes). Or even that I can't run 15 minutes two days in a row, or that my friends are more fit or healthier, or whatever... There are so many concerns that I have in this area, things that make me frustrated on a regular basis. So many things that I just 'don't feel good enough' in regards to my body.
2. Spiritually - Am I far enough along spiritually to call myself a minister toward anyone - youth included? Do I have enough of faith and real relationship with Christ to be able to lead others into a relationship with Christ? Or am I just not 'good enough' or far along enough in my journey to call myself a real Catholic? Or someone who can really lead anyone?
3. Youth Ministry - I doubt myself and my abilities every week, every time we have a youth group event. A few weeks ago we went to the Abortion Clinic to pray and I had less teens than the other group we went with and I was questioning whether I was enough - good enough, cool enough (whatever that means), good-looking enough, holy enough, etc. to be in this position. Then I have weeks at middle school youth group where we have 31 teens on a Wednesday night who have come to play Sock Dodgeball or Underground Church (ie: flashlight tag) and hang out. Yesterday I was all upset around 2:30pm about our Confirmation III presentation and the teens who gave presentations, ran the games, and sang in the choir for Adoration blew me away with their devotion, skill, and talents! All excited for nothing.
Now this weekend we're going on a hike with Mass and dinner during the event and I'm not sure how many kids are actually going to go and if I actually have enough adults to drive us over there...but here I go again, fretting over nothing!
4. My Vocation - What in the world is the plan for my life? I sure as heck hope it's not to be a youth minister and single forever! That would be the worst thing I could ever imagine! How will I ever figure this out? Is it marriage? And if so, where is the husband at and when is he coming? Or am I ignoring a different vocation to the religious life? I don't believe the second one is the case, but the dating scene isn't really 'happening' around here. The last guy I met didn't want anything more than coffee and that was only because someone else set us up and he probably felt he couldn't say no. So time will tell, I guess...
Those are just the few of the things that I am impatient with in regards to myself. I'm striving everyday to not focus on that and focus more on how I can become closer to Christ and conform to God's Will instead of staying in Katie's will.