Patience has something to do with keeping calm. Endurance is one aspect of patience.
On the other hand somebody resting and not caring about what is going on around him is keeping calm, but we would not necessarily refer to that as patience.
Giving up hope that a child should learn certain things may help to stay calm. Yet this is not love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. In this chapter St. Paul says: “Love is patient … It always hopes…” (Verses 4+7/NIV).
I started looking at the different aspects of love given by Paul one by one. Yet really they all belong together. If you separate these characteristics of love from each other you may end up with somthing less than true love.
To illustrate a point today I want to refer to yet another animal. In the zoo I discovered a crocodile. Actually at my first visit I was wondering if it was alive. It didn’t move at all. I thought it was a dummy or a dead animal that had been conserved for the spectators in the zoo.
As I like taking photographs of animals I was fortunate the crocodile did not move. Other spezies are moving so swiftly that once I am ready to take my picture they are gone. Only problem, visitors are kept at a distance from the crocodile. So I had to use my zoom function.
For the sake of getting an unusual perspectrive I might have liked to prostrate in front of the crocodile or on one side of it. However this was not possible in the zoo as spectators are kept in a safe distance. So my pictures are showing the animal from above only.
You might say the crocodile was a very patient animal as it keeps calm nearly all the time regardless of what the spectators in the zoo look like. Yet if I had the chance to get very close to it, would the animal always be patient and calm?
Would the crocodile be loving towards me or would it be carried away by the prospect of some extra portion of food. Would it love me as a living person or would it be engrossed looking at me as a special and hopefully tasty treat?
Paul says: “Love is patient, love is kind.” (Verse 4/NIV). A crocodile may be very calm and patient for a long time. Yet it may not be kind if I should come too close.
With man patience at times may be little more than a tactical manoeuvre. There is a way of keeping calm just to wait for a suitable opportunity to take advantage of others. What will happen thereafter may not be fittingly described as an act of kindness.
Patience and kindness belong together. Patience without kindness may not be a token of true love.
(The pictures below show a spezies in the Stuttgart zoo much similar to the crocodile.)