Most of us would agree that patience is a difficult thing. We've been raised in a culture of microwaves, instant pudding and thirty minute sitcoms. None of those things build into us the desire to wait for anything.
I once had a professor tell me that two of the worst enemies of our culture were the remote and the sitcom. The first means you never have to finish anything. You can flip from show to show without ever having to see a resolution. The second teaches us that life's problems can be resolved in about 22 minutes (by the time you take out the commercials) no matter how difficult they may seem.
Nevertheless, you read Galatians 5:22 and right smack dab in the middle of all these tremendous qualities is that word...patience. Much has been written about patience. Leonard Tolstoy said, "The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." And Benjamin Franklin wrote, "He that can have patience can have what he will." The trick to patience is...time. It has to be worked out over time, developed over time, trained into the soul over time. But our tendency is to force it, to try harder to will it to happen. It just doesn't work that way. Maybe the surfers could teach us a thing or two about it.
I'm told that surfing, if you don't know what you are doing (this would absolutely apply to me which is why you won't catch me on one of those things), can be extremely dangerous. The problem is that when a large wave takes a novice surfer under, instincts tell you fight to get back to the surface. The key, however, is to go limp and let the currents bring you to the surface. In other words, there are times to act and there are times to wait, be patient and allow the answers to your problems to surface. The result of the latter is a life lived in balance waiting on God's timing for each and every situation. Patience is a virtue...and it comes to those who are willing to wait.