1 Timothy 1:16 (NIV)
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
The Tournament of Sand Sculpture Champions is a highlight in the lives of the Harrison Hot Springs' community. This contest is held yearly in this touristy town, attracting master sculptors from all around the world. Artists have exactly thirty-six hours to finish their masterpieces, built solely out of sand and water. When finished, the sand sculptures are sprayed by a water-soluble compound that will prevent them from drying out.
The carvings are life-sized, and upon completion, they are admired by the thousands of tourists that flood the town each year. One sculpture I read about was titled: "The church, the steeple and all the people". The sculpture featured giant hands held together in prayer, topped by a church steeple. Standing by were a pair of hands, displayed palms up with fingers entwined. The faces of typical churchgoers had been carefully carved into the tips of each finger. The artist was patiently trying to give the message that prayer not only reaches heaven, but it affects people as well, especially the ones prayed for.
As I read about and looked at the pictures I was amazed by the patience these artists must have had. No prizes, other than the honor of receiving a 1st, 2nd or 3rd placing, were given. The artists did their carvings for board, accommodations, and travel expenses alone. Any profits from the contest are awarded to local charities. Try to imagine the pain-taking effort required to produce such masterpieces - works of art that will eventually be destroyed by the elements! "A waste!" some may think. However the money raised for the charities will benefit thousands.
Patience is always a beneficial attribute, and the best part is, it has no negative side effects. But where can one find patience in a world renowned for its impatience? Where can you find someone who gladly will spend the time required to attentively listen to everything you say?
I know of only One who is renowned for His patience. The One who is always patient encourages us to imitate Him and to enjoy the benefits of developing patience.
Once patience is developed, you can look forward to what God will do next in your life. Circumstances will no longer be considered happenstance, but opportunities to experience God in one's life. Life will become an adventure with God, a journey that will stretch into eternity.
Dear Lord, help us to become patient people. Help us look to You as the example to what we can become if we keep our thoughts, ideas and eyes on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.