“It will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it.”

Habakkuk 2:3

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Habakkuk 2:1-5

We do not like to hear the phrase “be patient!” in a world in which being active or achieving is seen as an absolute value. We tend to think that being patient means being passive, doing nothing. But patience can be a very active way of being, which allows us to live in and see the beauty of this moment.

The modern-day spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, captures this well when he writes: “In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just being.”

The Prophet Habakkuk struggled with his contemporaries and God. He recognises the lawlessness and immorality of his people and questions why God has not punished them. He wants action against the injustice that he sees around him. He is the first Biblical author to ask why God allows injustice and doesn’t act fast by punishing the wicked. He is impatient.

Habakkuk slowly learns to allow things to unfold in their own time. He is taught to be patient. In a second reply to his complaints against God he is told to write this down so that it can be easily read: “…this is a vision for an appointed time, it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it.”

Patience means to wait, hold back and allow things to unfold. We often want to complete what we are doing. We want to move on and tackle the next task. We hold onto the false notion that getting things done proves we are somehow valuable and worthwhile. When we live like this, we can so easily miss the beauty of the moment because we impatiently want to move on. We lose a moment in time, a part of our lives that can never be repeated because once it is past, it is gone. When we are impatient, we stand the chance of losing our very selves.

Today, can you practice living in the beauty of the moment? Like the Prophet Habakkuk, what do you need to let go of for things to unfold in their own time?

Loving God,

You are always actively waiting for us to respond to your invitation. Teach me how to wait, patiently, not jumping from one task to another thinking I am successful. Help me to see that patiently living in the beauty of the present is what makes me authentic.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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