IT is often said that patience is a virtue. And so it is. There appear to be numerous occasions that require a good deal of patience. Some are long-term situations--maybe business difficulties, financial problems, discordant relationships. But patience is also frequently required in daily occurrences, such as the traffic snarl or the wait for a bus or a train. The exercise of patience need never be looked on in a negative way, as a resigned putting up with things as they are because there seems to be no way they can be improved. Christian Science is enlightening in this respect. Through its study we can obtain a completely new outlook on the advantages of remaining undisturbed. Through the study of Science we begin to see that the carnal mind, with its insistence that man is a vulnerable mortal living in an unpredictable material universe, is what leads to feelings of impatience and irritation. But we also learn that the carnal mind, to use Paul's term, isn't really mind. God is the one infinite Mind, and this Mind produces harmony. Man, as God has created him, isn't, then, a fragile mortal but the very manifestation of God, including only harmony. He's the image of God, as the Bible tells us. An increasing desire to understand these truths, to bring out their practicality in our present experience, means that a time of patient waiting can become a time of spiritual growth, of coming to discern the perfect divine reality, transcending what our eyes and ears tell us. It can become a time when we're able to acknowledge increasingly the continuous unfoldment of what is right and needful for everyone. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must `have her perfect work.' '' 1 I have many times had to learn to be patient. Once a long period of waiting was essential to allow a condition to be resolved in the right way--God's way. I have found that when I have allowed the one Mind to govern me instead of human will, the final solution has always been for the benefit of all concerned. Sometimes I have acted impulsively and taken ill-considered action. This has led to problems. Then I have had to be prepared quietly to rely on God, to listen for His thoughts, His direction, and
to allow His will to be done. This has always been the best way, and lasting good has been achieved. In the Bible we read: ``Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.'' 2 The Way-shower, Christ Jesus, expressed great patience on many occasions, and often with his own disciples. Mrs. Eddy writes: ``The disciples apprehended their Master better than did others; but they did not comprehend all that he said and did, or they would not have questioned him so often. Jesus patiently persisted in teaching and demonstrating the truth of being.'' 3 As a result, his disciples were better able to understand his teachings and continue his important healing work. Man, as God's image, is inseparable from Him and therefore the constant recipient of His goodness. Through patient trust in this truth and an increasing understanding of it, we're able to demonstrate it. Patience in its highest sense, then, points to our understanding of reality as entirely good. It indicates our willingness to look beyond the moment's circumstances and the frustrations that sometimes accompany them, to the timeless truths of being, which must inevitably come to light. 1 Science and Health, p. 454. 2 James 5:7, 8. 3 Science and Health, p. 136-137.