A guest post by Sheila Kelly
A friend with a gentle sense of humor recently sent me an email that said: Two of the greatest qualities in life are patience and wisdom.
Below was a picture of a big brown and white dog on the deck of a large log chalet – looking mighty patient and wise – observing a skunk, with tail briskly curled up, casually munching on the kibble in the dog bowl.
Maybe it was photoshopped (who knows these days?) but it made a good point.
The expression on the dog’s face showed clearly that even in the animal kingdom God’s creatures can choose to reject suggestions of impatience, and pay very good attention to wisdom and being a good neighbor.
This email of expressing wisdom and patience reminded me of a friend who was a Christian Science Chaplain and taught a Sunday School class at a girls’ correctional facility. One thing the chaplain invited the girls to do in the class was to make a list – in ink – of all their good qualities. Then she asked them to write in pencil the traits that got them in the facility and to write – in ink – the opposite of that trait.
For example: impatience might be in pencil and patience in ink.
The girls understood, maybe for the first time, that they actually had a choice of which thoughts to have – and to choose to express the good quality and reject the suggestion of the bad trait. Apparently, so many girls began to make good choices it made a noticeable difference – not only in improved harmony in the facility, but also in the healing of relationships with family members.
Then they got to erase the false trait written in pencil, which was no part of their true identity of being created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26,27).
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Christ Jesus’ teachings and healings, wrote, “Christian Science commands man to master the propensities, – to hold hatred in abeyance with kindness, to conquer lust with chastity, revenge with charity, and to overcome deceit with honesty. Choke these errors in their early stages, if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success.”
The wisdom my friend showed in teaching these girls their true nature through a method they would understand, and the patience to continue teaching until their behavior reflected their God-given nature, makes me even more grateful for these two great qualities in life. Learning of our divine nature and expressing God’s qualities blesses us as well as family, friends, and neighbors.