Patience of a Saint

I went to my badminton league last night. The talent varies widely from children (many better than me) to those who play in tournaments. My daughter wanted to attend with me. She had only played badminton a few times with the neighborhood kids, but considered herself a good player.

Once on the badminton court, we began to warm up by hitting the birdie back and forth. Well, I hit it and she would try. She had problems serving the birdie, and as her confidence decreased, she soon was not able to hit the birdie at all. I suggested she try hitting it anyway she was comfortable, but it grew worse until it looked like she was going to cry. I wasn’t sure what to do, but continuing seemed cruel, so I suggested we stop for the night. As I was talking with another woman on the sidelines, my daughter and I were invited to play the next game.

My daughter and I stood in the middle of the court and had a quiet discussion. I asked her, “Do you want to play?” My daughter said “Yes.” I thought the game would to be too much for her and she’d be humiliated, but didn’t want to tell her that. The facilitator came up and asked if there was a problem. I told him my daughter hadn’t played before. “No problem. This isn’t life or death,” He said, “Let’s see what you can do.”

My daughter misses her first serve. I cringed. But his reaction changed everything. “Let me show you how to hold the racket,” he offered. And she is instructed for a half hour by him and another man on how to properly serve. They were genuinely patient and happy to do it. It was like watching Buddha teach badminton! The woman next to me began to observe the instruction and practice the “new” technique. Then I joined in. It became a learning session for all of us. And my daughter’s confidence went up and she enjoyed herself.

I saw such a gap between the men’s level of patience and my own. Their patience changed the situation into one of learning and love. Their perception changed the outcome. I want that level of patience for myself.

Blessed journeys!

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2 thoughts on “Patience of a Saint

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    I can relate to ALL of the characters involved, as in my life I have “played” the “roles” of the patient teacher, the frustrated student, as well as the conflicted parent. It’s how we learn, right? : ) I’m wondering if your level of patience would have been higher had you not been her parent. My first thought was that, as her mom, you were concerned for her “humiliation” and perhaps also felt like you were wasting the time of others and dragging them down by “forcing” an inferior player into the situation. We were raised not to impose on people, so I think sometimes that intrudes on our ability to listen to Spirit’s guidance. As J tells me, he doesn’t care at all about “manners”. He says, simply be a conduit for miracle as it comes from him, and the “manners” will naturally follow.

    I also believe this, however. Whenever we are able to recognize traits in others, it means we do have the exact same traits in us. So, if you saw that deep patience in those teachers there, you indeed DO have it within you!

    Thank you again for sharing, and happy badmintoning! (is that a word?)! : )

    • This episode triggered, again, the deep realization that I need to surrender. That I cannot be patient simply by trying, although I can ‘act’ patient. As the ACIM text states, I have offered to surrender, but have still kept a part for myself. And it just doesn’t work when it isn’t a total surrender. That last step of faith needs to be taken. Soon very soon, I’ll take it. Perhaps today!

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