by Rev. Cindy Senarighi RN
Scripture ~ Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick- tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
Spiritual Focus ~ “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
Leo Tolstoy, 19th century Russian writer, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina
Breath prayer ~ Kairos (pronounced KY-rōs)
Devotion ~ For many of us being patient is not something we are born with. U.S. Americans are infamous for their hurried lifestyle. We have all most likely had the experience of someone cutting us off in traffic and then sitting next to them at the same stop light with a smug smile. Or perhaps someone cut in front of you in line at a store because they’re in a hurry, signaling their time is more valuable than yours. We have all been in situations where we experience impatient behavior, maybe even eliciting a quick-tempered response. There are other situations when we tend to be more patient, when what we are waiting or hoping for can’t be rushed. Today’s scripture reminds us we can nurture patience in ourselves when we practice it with intention. When time and understanding are required to achieve our hoped-for outcome, practicing patience is our best and perhaps our only option.
Time and patience are two concepts often addressed in scripture. In ancient Greek there are two words for time: Chronos or chronological time, and Kairos which means an opportune time. We are more familiar with chronos or sequential time, but in the Bible, we are introduced to Kairos meaning “the appointed time in God’s purpose.” It is often written that God’s time is not the same as our time. God’s time is infinite, and patience is the best option as we await the opportune time.
Yoga helps us to develop patience in many ways. Mindfulness practices, as we discussed in last week’s devotion, cultivate calming energy through a slow, focused asana practice. One yoga practice that can be employed almost anywhere is the practice of drishti. Drishti is Sanskrit for focused gaze and is a technique for seeing God everywhere and in everything. The practice and concept of drishti is rich and complex, but one of the often-unrealized benefits is the nurturing of patience. Next time you find yourself becoming impatient in a situation that can’t be rushed, take a breath, find your drishti or focused gaze, and try to see God in the moment. It could be a powerful experience of understanding and presence.