Monday, October 17, 2011
A Divine Characteristic: Patience
Can you imagine what it would be like to be God? To have infinite love for an infinite group of people more or less bent on destroying themselves? That sounds nothing like heaven to me. So how does He do it? How does He wait patiently for us to learn the things He already knows, lessons which hurt us needlessly, hurt others immensely, and leave us miserable in a lifetime that was meant for joy?
The easy answer is His infinite knowledge. He must know that it is better for us to pass through sorrow, that things will work out well in the end. That even if we fail miserably and never come home again, it is better for us to have gone through the experiences of choosing for ourselves.
But I think there is more to it than that. I don't think that patience is divine patience when it is based on lack of control, or by killing the desire in the first place. After all, the Father still wants us to gain immortality and eternal life. He wants it so much, that He has described it as his "work and glory." So He hasn't done what I do in order to be patient.
And it goes without saying that He has the ability to completely control everything, if He wanted.
About ten years ago, I had become so good at it that I didn't feel anything serious for other people any more. They had all disappointed me to the point where rather than be upset and overly emotional about it, I had subconsciously decided it was more dignified to simply not feel. To remove the opportunity for disappointment. That way, I could protect others from the depths of my emotion and protect myself from embarrassment.
Realizing that the cost was higher than the cure was worth, I have been on a quest for the last decade to try to find a way to feel again, to accept the vulnerability that caring for others brings. And every time I have been successful, I have been hurt. Deeply. Every time I am hurt, the old defense mechanisms come into play and my mind begins to automatically immunize against the pain.
But it is enough. It stops now.
I am not satisfied with protecting myself from pain and embarrassment. I want to love as He loves.