Patience has three stages. First, the servant ceases to complain: this is the stage of repentance. Second, the Sufi becomes satisfied with what is decreed; this is the rank of the ascetic. Third, the servant comes to love whatever the Lord does with him; this is the stage of the true friends of God. — Abu Talib al-Makki, from Essential Sufism
According to this outline, I am firmly entrenched in stage one.
If I read these kinds of things as a regular human, I can get in the groove. So wise!
But if I try to see it through the lens of a parent, it begins to make no sense. Asinine, even.
How can a person be expected to be satisfied with what is decreed when that person is given the ability to think up creative projects and the will to accomplish them, but they are surrounded by small creatures interrupting their work with alarming regularity?
How can a person be asked to love that the Lord requires the person to feed 7 people, when each of those 7 people has their own specific taste buds and hankerings and isn’t shy about declaring their intense displeasure at the food being served?
Hence — I’m stuck at complaining.
I have my good moments. If I feel like I’m teaching a child something new, I am patient as all get-out. I can accept that they haven’t learned it yet, and I love that I have been put in the position to impart the knowledge and skill to survive.
But when I’ve freakin’ told you 400 times just in the last hour, and you do the opposite of what I taught you while looking at me out of the corner of your eye with a devilish grin?
When I just want to finish this sentence without being interrupted for the 38th time and then I forget my thought again and in fact I forget where the whole post was going and I end up rambling like a fool…
Thank you, dear reader, for your patience. We have experienced technical, two-legged giant-mouthed difficulties and will have to suspend our transmission until next time.
In the meantime, good luck being patient, and wish me the same. I need all the help I can get.