“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jam 1:19, 20)
More than three months ago I fell and broke my ankle. My cast was removed about four weeks ago. Since then I have been trying to exercise my leg and to walk as normal as possible. This vacation trip was planned since last year. For a moment there was the possibility that I could not travel. I did not want to go in a wheelchair, to be a burden on the other brethren who are traveling with us. But God made a way. I started the journey with one crutch. Then I walked with a walking stick. Two days ago I abandoned the stick also. I am now walking by myself, though limping. If I am very tired, I hang on my husband’s arm. I am grateful to God for the small daily improvements. If you have never been sick, you will not appreciate the joy of getting better. God is great, I tell you!
I was talking today with Tuoyo, a very well behaved young man of 17 (he helped me go in and out the bus). He is a very good student too. I asked him what is the lesson so far; what did he learn since the beginning of the trip? He told me that he is learning to be more patient with himself. He said that in the past, he pushed himself too much; he was too impatient: he only focused on the end of the race and not enjoy the journey. I was telling him that since I broke my leg I had to learn how to successfully ‘slow down’ but not feel like a loser. Right now I can walk but I cannot run. I am normal but I am generally slower. I have to adjust myself to my own pace and not feel bad when the rest people leave me behind. For now, I have to be grateful that I can walk, even if I am slower.
In the Bible, thee are some things that we should do faster and some slower. For example, we are to be quick in hearing. The ears must be very sensitive to words spoken or to spiritual sounds. But other things must be slow! For example, I need to be slow in anger and in speech. My emotions and my tongue must be controlled by the centre of patience and wisdom. It means that I should be quick to hear but keep silent most of the time. I should not easily give my opinions or my interpretations even if I have the knowledge on what to say.
Like Tuoyo, I too felt that slowness is bad, a sign of old age. Impatience was approved by me. It is possible that in the past I talked too fast, too much, too often or too loud. Walking slowly now helps me. I use it as a point of contact for my tongue. I need to slow down with my talking and to please God more. This precious lesson of wisdom came at the end of weeks of pain and discomfort. But it is here to stay. From now on, my words shall be fewer and wiser! But their impact will be greater! For me, this is great lesson indeed! In quietness and trust shall be my strength! To God be all the glory!