Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on April 6, 2013.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be more patient. Help us to work on our patience in the coming week. Amen.
Reading: I Corinthians 13: 1-7 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Love is patient. But are human beings patient? Patience is a hard thing to learn; but, it is a good virtue to have. I learned patience from a boy named Brian.
Brian was one of my first campers when I was a counselor at Mount Luther. I could tell from the first day that Brian would be a challenge. After dreaming for years of being a camp counselor, the first night that I had Brian and wondered, “Is this what I really want to do?” He turned out to be one of the worst behaved campers to ever come to our camp. He antagonized other campers, used foul language, and was very trying to his first- year counselor. At times I felt at wit's end. I just didn't know what to do.
By the end of the week, we had Brian calmed down. He was civil and was listening to instructions and abiding by the rules. On the last day of camp, he acted up again. When his mother came to get him, he told her, "See, I made it." Evidently, his mother said he wouldn't last the week at camp.
Although we had talked about sending Brian home early, I'm glad we didn't. You could tell on Saturday that he felt a sense of accomplishment for staying all week. I think the camp experience was good for him.
And despite pulling out my hair, it was a good experience for me. I learned patience that week. I learned that you have to take things as they come and just wait to see what happens. At times I wanted to react and punish Brian. But at times, it was better to wait until a more appropriate time. My fellow staff helped me get through the week and helped provide comic relief as well as I dealt with the difficult circumstances.
By learning patience, we can be better people. And, we can also learn to get rid of stress in the process. --Chad Hershberger
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