Celebrating Differences

I’m not a patient person, and I especially don’t like waiting.

I’m the kind of guy who will drive 15 minutes out of the way to avoid 5 minutes of traffic. Hey, at least I’m moving somewhere. Not surprisingly, almost all advertisements annoy me. It’s a version of hitting traffic while trying to consume media. I’m the kind of television watcher who changes the channel constantly to avoid a 15 second commercial.

The other day I came across THIS commercial. Surprisingly, it didn’t annoy me.

At CBC, February is relational covenant month. As we walk through a separate principle each week, I’m reminded of how much the church is comprised of differences. It’s why Paul spends a good bit of time in his writings discussing unity and body life (Romans 12, I Cor. 12, Phil. 2). It’s natural to try and make everyone think, act, walk, and talk like me. The problem is, if we all believe, think, or even act the same, we lose the beauty difference brings into our world. Ultimately our differences are an expression of an immensely creative God who uses diversity to reveal His majesty.

If I’m completely honest with myself, relational patience mostly centers around my perspective. It’s the time it takes for others to see my perspective or the time it takes for them to move from their perspective to mine. I’m patient if others move towards me. The problem is, that’s not real patience. It’s the difference between allowing difference and actually celebrating it. If I believe difference reveals the majesty of God, I want to do more than simply allow it in my life, I want to celebrate when it’s encountered.

I’m forever trying to be a more patient person, but I’m just now realizing the "why" behind patience in my life. I’m beginning to realize practicing patience is an expression not just allowing but actually celebrating difference.

Patience is difficult to practice because it's a slow process. I still hate traffic (and most commercials), but when I see the practice of patience as a celebration of diversity, I realize I am moving somewhere. I am seeing more of the majesty of God all around me.

- Charlie