It was a hot Saturday afternoon with the sun doing a harsh number on my skin and my mind trying to seek refuge in something cold or sweet. It was at this junction of decision that the smell of pizza gently filtered into my nose. “Hmmn, that pizza smells so good; can we stop and have a slice I asked?” My fourteen year old son looked at me in disbelief. “Control mommy, control” he whispered in my ears. Although he was right on the money with the emphasis he placed on the word “control”, I bullied him into immediate silence by letting him know that “this hungry mom is an angry mom that can change her mind about taking him shopping.”
A few hours before, we sealed the plan to eat pizza for dinner. We had been in Rome, Italy, for a few days and succeeded in saving our appetite for a particular traditional Italian pizza our family friends had talked non-stop about. Unfortunately, what I was seeing and smelling at this point in time, so appealed to my stomach, that I flung our plans for the evening to the wind of nonchalance. All I knew was I was too hungry to let another minute go by without a slice of the beautifully garnished pizza that appeared to have my name written all over it. It became a now or never thing. I am sure you can guess what happened next?
You are right. I went with the Now option. I ordered and dived into the pizza as soon as it was laid before me. After five minutes of savoring unnecessary grease that cemented the wall of greed in me, I arrived at the sad realization that there was nothing to write home about the pizza. I had blown it big time! Instant gratification turned to a prickly session of regret that held me captive for the rest of the day.
If only I had exercised the patience or even listened to my son, I would not have found myself wallowing in a pit plagued by guilt and shame. How many times in our lives have we put the chariot before the horse in the name of impatient? How many times have we taken back into our hands the situation we gave to God some minutes before? How many times has false evidence appeared so real in our eyes that we prematurely and ignorantly sacrificed our blessings on an altar of self-gratification? How many times have we forsaken others in the name of pleasing me, myself and I? There is no doubt that patience is the greatest virtue and if we can master it in good and bad times, then, self-control will become an automatic part of our daily lives.
Let us ask our dear Father, to forgive us for all the times we lacked the patience to believe His promises. Let us ask Him for the grace to exercise control at all times, in Jesus’ name. Lastly, let us pray that self will die in us and Christ will live forevermore, in Jesus’ name.
Until next time, I pray that patience and self-control continues to reign in our lives.