The Gift of Patience

Ordinary Time
February 6, 2018

Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 2:1-12

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. –2 Kings 2:9-12

My Aunt Nancy was a skilled crafter. She rarely was without knitting needles or a crochet hook when we would sit and visit. The story goes that when her son was about five, he told her he wanted to learn how to knit. She carefully demonstrated the simplest stitches for him. He struggled with great intensity to create a short little row then stopped looked at this mother and said, “No, I want to go clickity, clack as you do.” I had never noticed that she did knit so fast that her needles created a percussive song. I do not think he ever attained the clickity, clack stage but he did learn to knit.

We need to be patient with ourselves as we strive for perfection in our ability to serve God. Elisha in our scripture today experienced being on his own without Elijah to guide him. We all face many events as we mature and grow where it is our turn to take responsibility for whatever it is we are called to do. Two things are important for us to remember. God is always with us, always and we are indeed surrounded by a cloud of witnesses*  who very much want us to succeed. I do not think we ever want to stop learning which means we will continue to falter at times taking two steps forward and one step back. We also need to be patient with others who have perhaps traveled a different path than we have. While they may use differing methods, their results may be great.

Prayer: Lord, grant us patience as we learn to live together in love with one another. Amen.

*See Hebrews 12:1

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.