We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair. (2 Corinthians 4:8, NRSV)
I awoke yesterday morning and there was no president-elect, although both candidates were predicting victory. Collier County ranked 16th in Florida for new COVID-19 infections. And to add to the fun, Tropical Storm Eta appeared to be taking aim at Florida. After reading headlines, I thought to myself that it was far more tempting to pull the sheets over my head and stay in bed than to face the world.
I read the writing of a colleague this week who spoke of “revolutionary patience.” That resonated with me as I think about what is needed to settle this divisive election, waiting for a vaccine and effective therapeutic treatment for COVID, and anticipating the path of a tropical storm.
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, that is what the Apostle Paul was writing about: revolutionary patience. “We are afflicted, but not crushed… perplexed, but not driven to despair.” We live in an instant gratification culture. Patience is not a virtue that most of us either possess or celebrate. We want instant service, instant answers, instant solutions, and instant fixes to our pain or inconvenience. But life and faith are rarely filled with instant gratification.
Like most of you, I have “COVID fatigue” and certainly do not want to deal with a tropical storm or hurricane, and do not even get me started on this election. But the good news of our faith is that we are people of a God who created us with the capacity for revolutionary patience. My hope is that each of us, and indeed our entire nation, will be surrounded and enveloped in that patience today and in the coming days.
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor
Prayer Focus: Election officials working for a fair election
Prayer: Loving God, help me to be filled with ‘revolutionary patience.’ Amen.”