The week of April 15th – During the month of April, your family will focus on the virtue of patience. Each week you will gather together and reflect on what it means to be patient in an impatient world. Find a time this week to gather as a family, say a prayer, read or listen to a prompt, respond as a family to what you have heard and then act on the suggestion for the week.
April Virtue Patience: Waiting until later for what you want now.
What is a virtue? A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.
GATHER together in prayer
LISTEN through scripture; readings; stories; music; videos
RESPOND to what you have heard
ACT in service to what God is calling you to
Gather together as a family and pray this prayer:
Prayer for Patience
Lord, may I be patient; slow to anger and filled with love.
Please fill my heart with patience.
May I be ready to forgive myself and others not just one time but as many times as it takes.
Please fill my heart with understanding.
May I always seek to contemplate what somebody may be suffering before I jump to any conclusions.
Please fill my heart with love.
May I love others unconditionally remembering that your love for me is unconditional and all encompassing.
Lord, may I be patient; slow to anger and filled with love. Amen.
(Adapted from: A Prayer for Patience and Understanding) http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/prayers_before/prayer_for_patience.html
Have one person in your family read Exodus 16:2-4; 16:15-16; 17:1-6 (The impatient people in the wilderness). This Bible passage can be found online at Bible Gateway via this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+16%3A2-4%3B+16%3A15-16%3B+17%3A1-6&version=NRSV
Moses has led the Israelites out of slavery and into the dessert with God’s promise that they will find their way to a new home. God patiently leads Moses and Moses patiently leads the people. But the Israelites become more and more impatient with their journey. They want food and they want it NOW. They want water and they want it NOW. They want to be in their new homeland and they want it NOW.
It is very hard to wait until later for the things we want NOW. And when we don’t get what we want right away, we have a choice to make. We can choose to get upset. We can choose to be demanding. Or we can choose to be patient. In the short term, patience may seem like the less desirable path. But sometimes, it is exactly what we need to do.
As a family, ponder the following questions (or others you might have thought of as you read this story):
- In general, are you more patient or impatient?
- What are you most impatient about right now?
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of being patient?
This week notice when you feel impatient with yourself or with others. How do you feel when you’re impatient? How do you act? How does your impatience affect the people around you? Does being impatient help you get what you want? Would being patient be a better option?
Food for Thought
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but one who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29 (Bible)
Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting. – Joyce Meyer
Some people can never understand that you have to wait, even for the best of things, until the right time comes.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt