Patience is learned through practice. Someone once said if you pray for patience expect hard times to come. That is the only way you learn it. I remember my years working at the lumberyard. I learned many things about woodworking and dealing with difficult people. I had a couple of partners who tested me -one who was moody and another who was argumentative. I learned from those encounters and developed an ability to push back when challenged. I also had a boss who was abusive and because he was my boss I couldn’t push back in the same way. I learned patience in dealing with him. I endured the times, usually when my partner was on vacation, that I had to work closely with him on projects. I learned to appreciate more the many more times when I did not have to work closely with him. There were times when I would come to work with an almost militant attitude that I was going to enjoy my day regardless of what anyone did or said. And in future jobs, I really appreciated that I had endured the worst and no other boss came close to being as bad as he.

In another realm, I have learned patience -— gardening. Waiting for flowers to bloom, bulbs to pop up, vegetables to mature, takes patience. Especially when you can’t really see the growth. Take carrots for instance. I have planted them in the past and due to poor soil or too little thinning I have had very skinny or very small carrots. I should have seen it coming but did not. This year I planted carrots and radishes, but in my planting, I forgot which were planted where. The radishes were supposed to mature in 25 days, whereas the carrots would take twice as long. I could not easily tell the difference between the leaves of the two. So even though I was eager to see how the radishes turned out I was afraid I might pull up a carrot prematurely so I let them be. As a result, and from my judicious thinning, I have sprouts like the one above that indicate I should have a few good-sized carrots at harvest time.

Sometimes quick and decisive action is needed and hesitation can be harmful. but there are other times when the opposite is needed. As someone once said “all good things come to those who only stand and wait” Wisdom is knowing when to wait and when to dive ahead.