9th November 2020

Patience has been on display in the last few days. The mechanism of the US election has turned, slowly – too slowly for some – but gradually, day by day, a result has emerged.

It is, as is obvious, a slow process. No doubt there have been mistakes. It remains to be seen if there have been any unfairnesses and irregularities but, at the time of writing, a result has been announced, but it will have been, for everyone involved, a long wait. Which is, of course, where patience has come in. At least in some parts.

Patience is a much overlooked virtue in our instant news, instant credit, society. We can have more or less what we want in a couple of clicks, whether it’s a new coat or the latest information. Gone are the days when we might save for years to afford a major purchase. Such a world does not encourage patience at all. Yet it is a profoundly Christian virtue ​– “​clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and ​patience” – it’s close cousin comes high on the list usually called “the fruit of the spirit” – the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, ​forbearance​, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Patience in the US election came about once it became clear that things were moving in a particular direction. That’s the thing about patience; it’s possible because the future is sure. It’s not dependent on the length of time at all; and from a Christian perspective, faith and trust in God’s future – the promise of a Kingdom that lasts for ever – is sure. Advent starts soon – patience…

Michael Docker