If hanging onto reality is anything like hanging pictures, mine probably needs to go a little higher and to the right.
I know, I know. There are all kinds of tools and methods to make picture-hanging easier. But I think I only feel I’ve put in the right amount of energy when I’m left with four or five holes for every one nail.
Tap in a nail. Hang the picture. Eyeball it. Take down the picture. Pull out the nail. Put the nail closer to the right spot. Tap it in. Hang the picture. Eyeball it. Repeat as needed. That’s my system.
In the end, if at least one of the holes in the wall is closer to the size of the hammer head than the nail, that’s when I feel I might’ve put enough heart in it. Annnnd, welcome to my reality.
I do know that if I tried levels and measuring tools and added a little math and science into it I could probably save my walls from the severe Swiss-cheesing I’ve inflicted on them. But then what would I do with my hit and miss (more miss) system? Besides, I always buy extra wall décor and put it away in my “for covering accidental holes” stash. The wall where I had that solo wall piece in mind? It now holds my favorite grouping. Hello, collage!
Did I mention how grateful I am for a husband who is very patient? Also one who knows drywall repair?
A more “real” reality when it comes to patience is that it’s not just a tool we pick up in a moment we think we might happen to need it. Patience is one of the things we’re told to “wear.” We don’t just hang it on the wall. We hang it upon our person—inside our character.
When Paul issues the charge in Colossians 3:12 to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” (NIV), he’s giving us quite a wonderful collage of character qualities. This is without a doubt a high and lovely grouping!
Hanging on to the first four can tack the patience right alongside. Just try to be impatient when you’re wearing compassion. Nope, not happening. Let the impatience fly at the same time you’re walking in the kindness of the Lord. Can’t happen. Put on impatience and humility at the same time? Can’t manage that one either.
We deal with people every day who test our patience—people who are difficult, troubled, undisciplined, mean, lazy or just plain annoying. If I try for a second to offer them patience from my own personal supply, it’s not even going to be hit and miss. It’s more likely to be miss and miss some more. Godly patience only happens as we walk in the Spirit. That’s why patience is included in the fruit of the Spirit list in Galatians 5:22-23. It’s only through Him. He’ll bring us a little higher and to the right, as it were, as we surrender to His leading.
And then? We can totally nail this!