Saturday, December 22, 2007

Passion and Patience

Josh and I just started reading Pilgrim's Progress together as part of our date nights. I have never read it (I know. I can feel your gasps.) and he just couldn't bear the thought of that as it's been so impactful to him.

Anyway, I have to say...I get why this is a classic! I already relate to Pilgrim and his struggles so much and people who know me well will attest to the fact that few things spur me on like true, raw honesty about where a person's heart really is...realness....and almost nothing turns me off more than a pretty, put together, rarely-struggles facade. It's just not real and it's not encouraging or edifying for anyone else. Sorry. Soapbox moment. So I'm loving the refreshing honesty in this book.

Today I read ch 2 (I read it without Josh...sorry, baby) and came to the part of the two children, Passion and Patience. This really got at where my heart has been misguided and distracted this Christmas season. It's my natural tendency anyway, but running from mall to mall, thinking of what things I will acquire and what things I will help others acquire does nothing to help my continuous fight against my own Passion.

Here it is:

Then I saw Interpreter take Christian by the hand and lead him into a little room where sat two little children, each in his own chair. The eldest was named Passion, and the other Patience. Passion seemed much discontented, but Patience was very quiet. Then Christian asked, “What is the reason of the discontent of Passion?” The Interpreter answered, “The Master would have him wait for his best things till the beginning of next year; but he will have all now. Patience is willing to wait.”

Then I saw that one came to Passion, and brought him a bag of treasure, and poured it down at his feet. He took it up, and rejoiced and laughed Patience to scorn. But he had soon wasted all away, and had nothing left him but rags.

CHRISTIAN. Explain this matter more fully to me.

INTERPRETER. These two lads are pictures; Passion, of the men of this world; and Patience of the men of the world to come. As you see Passion will have all now, this year, that is to say in this world; so are the men of this world; they must have all their good things now; they cannot wait until the next world for their portion of good. But, as thou sawest that he had quickly wasted all away, and had left nothing but rags, so will it be with all such men at the end of this world.

Then said Christian, “Now I see that Patience has the best wisdom, both because he waits for the best things and because he will have the glory of his things when Passion’s are only rags.”

INTERPRETER. You may add also that the glory of the next world will never wear out; but these are suddenly gone. Therefore Passion had not so much reason to laugh at Patience because he had his good things first, as Patience will have to laugh at Passion, because he had his best things last.

CHRISTIAN. Then I see it is not best to covet things that are now, but to wait for things to come.

INTERPRETER. You say truth; “for the things that are seen soon pass away, but the things that are not seen endure forever.”