"Blessed are all who wait for the Lord" - Isaiah 30:18

As a way to exercise control and predict outcomes within all facets of my life, I engross myself with the research and implementation of ideas taken from books, podcasts, and videos. By filling my schedule's space with reading, listening, and watching, I feel like I'm making progress but eventually fall into the self-reliance trap.

I'm currently working on my impatience and anger. When a situation arises triggering these emotions, all the strategies and ideas I've learned come to the front of my mind but willfully trying to control the feelings doesn't always succeed. It's not through the books where I learn the most but in prayer. Instead of forging ahead by reading more to analyze the situation, I'm making an earnest effort to wait and listen to what God has to reveal when we look back at the situation together. Normally my prayer agenda followed a formulaic format of gratitude and petitions. Here, prayer is more open-ended and more importantly, it's welcoming events I usually avoided in thoughts and prayers after the fact.  It's through these efforts where God and I can non-judgmentally identify the patterns leading to where I step over the edge into impatience and anger.

By being more mindful in a delicate moment, I can better detect the bodily sensations telling me a powerful emotion is rising. If grace allows, I then call on a mantra to help wait out the situation's intensity. "I need your help, Lord." It's through this surrender I become more open to grace.

Knowing I can't change my earlier experiences which shaped me, I'm invited to wait in patient trust and with self-compassion for a slow and steady growth towards greater reliance on God. Each challenging experience then becomes an invitation to prayer, a time to be still and wait and a time to grow together with God.

Lord, may I be open to your grace and choose to lean into greater dependence on you.

Greg Lontok