But give rather the spirit of whole-mindedness (σωφροσύνης), humility, patience (ὑπομονῆς), and love to Your servant.” (Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem, Part 2)

As the second week of Lent draws to an end, I am grateful to be reminded of God’s Spirit of “patience” or “hypo-mone“ in Greek (from “ὑπό” meaning “behind,” and “μένω” meaning “to remain”), which is a “remaining behind” and waiting things out, even when the going gets rough. “Behind” what? Behind the secure borders of “the God-zone,” if I can put it that way. When things change, or don’t go as I expected, in the Spirit of “patience” I am reminded that time is a blessing, not a curse.

Patience is a gift one often neglects in our culture of instant gratification; of fast information, fast food, and fast relationships, when it’s enough to “swipe right” to get “hooked up” as one desires in the moment. But the many-week-long “wellness program” of Lent, with the grace of its daily discipline of prayer and fasting, helps me to re-discover “the power to wait” that is patience. Let me be slowed down today, and embrace God’s good will for me, which brings me good things in His good time. “But give rather the spirit of whole-mindedness, humility, patience, and love to Your servant.”

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