Rebuilding Series: Who Tests Your Patience? By Marshall Lestz
Good Morning Everybody,
To kick off the greatest Rebuilder month there is, Elul, I thought we’d cover a very fundamental topic that we all know well, but is always worth reviewing.
So I’d like you to take a moment and think of someone who sometimes tests your patience. It might be someone who you see at shul, a family member… a colleague at work… or someone in public–like a slow checkout clerk…or an unhelpful customer service person…Basically anyone who tests your patience.
Okay, everybody have someone in mind?
Good. Except… not good. See, I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to disagree with your selection. I don’t think that person tests your patience…
Because it’s HASHEM that’s testing your patience! That person is just the messenger! We all know this, but we forget it all the time. We constantly confuse the message and the messenger!
Can you imagine if this coming year we could improve in this area?! If we started to make it our second nature to view people who get on our nerves as Hashem’s messengers to help us work on patience, or acceptance, on being more serene, or respectfully assertive, or having more trust in Hashem…. What a year this new year would be, even if we only made a little progress in this area!
So how might we get better at remembering to focus on the message and not the messenger? Well, I think it could really help if we trained ourselves to constantly ask ourselves “WHAT’S THE MESSAGE?” So any time someone or something seems to test our patience, we immediately think– “What’s the message?” Someone says something disrespectful to us– “What’s the message?” A car
cuts us off– “What’s the message?” The elevator is out of order, or the doctor is running 30 minutes late– “What’s the message?” And if you’re a doctor– and the patient is running 30 minutes late– “What’s the message?”
To help us internalize these powerful words, I suggest that we literally leave ourselves a message! Jot down on a piece of paper the words “What’s the message?”, and keep it in your pocket every single day… or in your wallet, or purse, or your computer, or make it your screen saver, or a daily alert on your phone…
Every test of patience is a test from Hashem. And the more we see this, the more we’ll make Hashem a part of our daily lives, AND the less ill will we’ll feel towards other people.
Have a liberating, fantastic day everybody,
Keep on Building!