Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
No longer a virtue
“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”-Ecclesiastes 7: 8
No longer valued
There was a time when patience was considered valuable and virtuous. Perhaps there are still many of us who hold this quality in high regard. It just seems, though, that its worth has taken quite a hit.
Just ask the former head coaches of recent championship teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as an example. You could also go across continents to Europe and see a similar pattern with football managers in the English Premier League. The trend has become increasingly entrenched. Past success counts for little in today’s value economy. If instant results are not forthcoming, two words are: “You’re fired!”
One day before he recently lost his job as the head coach of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, Doc Rivers uttered these prophetic words recorded by sportswriter William C. Rhoden: “We live in a time, unfortunately, when nobody is willing to wait, they want it now…Every time you lose now: ‘Who should you fire? Who should get the blame? How about taking steps and growing? No one wants that anymore.”
Rivers’ team lost the series on Sunday. He made the comments on Monday. He was fired on Tuesday. So much for taking steps and growing.
Have you been living your life with a results-first mindset or is there still room for the growth pathway? That journey involves mistakes, failures and shortcomings. Although I recognize that in some industries production is paramount, I tend to agree with Rivers that as a human family we have lost our willingness to wait.
Consider, then, the insight of the wisdom Teacher cited in Ecclesiastes 7 above. A patient spirit is still to be treasured. Hurry, pride and impatience stifle the life of serenity and tranquility. The signs are all around us and, oftentimes, even within us. Slow down and pay attention.
Still worth the journey
There is simply too much evidence of the benefits of patience to dismiss its value.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.