Passover is here and everyone in Israel is out shopping for the holidays. Yesterday, waiting in the supermarket check-out line, my pulse went up. The check out girl entered, reentered and then reentered again numerous unreadable bar code numbers. I lost control, left my groceries in the cart, and walked out of the store. The young mother with three kids waiting in line behind me didn't seem to mind as she happily moved into my place in the line.
How did I become so impatient?
There was a time when I understood that good things take time. I remember waiting months before we got the new laundry machine. We appreciated that Maytag with the new "agitator" even more because we had to wait for it.
Or grandma’s Passover roast. It wouldn’t be rushed, and no one ever complained about how long it took. We were all too happy to wait for the tender, sweet brisket to arrive streaming at the table.
The funny thing is that we used to think that the longer it took to make something the more value it had. Like building a house. Now-a-days we’ll pay more to have a house built quicker, thinking we are getting a deal. Do we realize that we’ll pay again later for our haste? Quality takes time.
Patience is an essential ingredient for quality of relationships, craftsmanship and life.
When I lived in the Sinai Desert the best dates were small, crinkled and ugly, but they tasted sweeter than honey. The extreme desert climate makes it difficult for the palm trees to find water, and the slow, labored process of the root system makes the trees stronger. Tough conditions produce sweeter fruits.
The supermarket sells these huge dates all shiny and smooth, but they taste awful to me (maybe it’s just as well I left them in the cart at the check out line!) The palm trees that make these big dates are pumped up with water and chemicals that make it easier for the trees to grow. They do produce more dates faster, and the fruits look good, but like the best things in life, the good ones grow better over time.
The next time I go shopping, I'm going to make sure to appreciate all the time and effort it takes to produce fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish and meat. And I'll try not to loose my patience, what little of it I have.
It might even help make me a little sweeter (if that's possible?!)
The Hebrew word for patience is "savlanot" and comes from the root word "to suffer." Patience is the ability to endure hardships without loosing hope. Patience is not the ability to wait, but being able to keep a good attitude while waiting.
Patience was the first word I learned in Israel. It will be the last word we'll need to survive in the Middle East.
Inspired by Yaakov (James) the brother of Yeshua in his letter to the twelve tribes chapter 5:7-11.