Sunday, January 28-Annual Meeting following Worship
Pilgrim Congregational Church
15 Common St, Southborough, MA 01772

Letters to Gus: “Patience Means Being Flexible”

Dear Gus,

It is so hard to be patient!

If I had to pick one thing that we both really struggle with, it would be patience. For both of us, patience is about control. I want to be in charge and you want to be in charge. When we don’t get our way, then we lose our patience and we try to force the other person to do what we wanted them to do.

Being in charge means trying to force others to do what you want them to do. But, you can’t really force things. Sometimes, when we’re playing golf, you hit a putt really hard trying to force it to go straight at the hole instead of letting it follow the curves of the green and fall into the cup. Whenever you try to force it in, you usually end up missing it. The ball bounces out or spins around the cup and goes off in some funny direction. That’s not what you were hoping for, but it happened because you tried to force it in!

It’s the same with people. Whenever we try to force people to do what we want them to do, we usually end up not getting our way. What happens when we don’t get our way? We lose our patience. What happens when we lose our patience? Well, when I lose my patience, I usually get frustrated and then say or do things that I regret. When you lose your patience, you usually end up losing the iPad for a few days.

What would it be like to never lose our patience?

I guess that would be like when Mom tells us to “be cool” and to “go with the flow.” That means that we don’t worry so much about who is in charge, but we instead take the time to just enjoy what’s going on here and now.

We should come up with some kind of code word to tell each other when we’re worried that one or both of us might lose our patience. What word could we come up with that would remind both of us that we need to “be cool”?

How about “flex”? That’s a fun word because it makes me think of flexing my muscles—something you like to do in the mirror!—and it reminds me that we need to be flexible. Plus, it has an X in it, which is always fun! Whenever I hear the word “flex,” I’m going to take three deep breaths. You should too! Maybe we can even see who can take the biggest, deepest breaths!

Do you think we can be patient with each other?

1-2-3: FLEX!

Breathe in. Breathe out. ONE. Breathe in. Breathe out. TWO. Breathe in. Breathe out. THREE.

I feel calmer.