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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Wait on the Lord

Use delays to learn patience

The announcement from the cockpit wasn't welcome. Our plane was being held on the runway because of bad weather on our flight path. Fifteen minutes passed, then 30, then another 30. With almost every seat in the plane occupied, the passengers were already primed for irritability. As the delay stretched on, they progressed from being restless to downright angry. Some cursed. Others threatened to sue the airline. We were witnessing "air rage."

Only a Tibetan Buddhist monk seated next to us seemed unperturbed. With his clean-shaved head and long-flowing robe, he sat calmly fingering his prayer beads. Catching Fred's eye, he said: "This is an opportunity to practice being patient."

Patience, we recalled then, is an essential element in the Christian faith as well.


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