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Arks and Art and Patience

You know the movie Evan Almighty? It’s actually a spin-off of the more popular Bruce Almighty, but Evan has always been my favorite. It follows the story of Evan (Steve Carell) and his family as God (Morgan Freeman) calls him to build an ark.

A modern day Noah; isn’t that cool?

And no, before we get too far, this isn’t a movie review. I have a point to this. I promise.

As you can imagine, Evan’s wife, Joan, is a bit confused why her newly-elected Congressman husband is electing to throw away his career, grow a beard, and build an ark.

She ends up having an encounter with God, and His advice has always stuck out to me.

I’m paraphrasing here, but God says:

If you pray for patience, do you think God is just going to snap His fingers and zap you with extra patience? No. He’s going to give you opportunities to grow in patience.

I needed that reminder last night.

Two words: Evening class.

A few more words: thirty minutes over time.

Need I say more?

When a three-hour art class starts approaching four, ‘patience’ is not in my vocabulary. In fact, I’ve taken patience and thrown it out the window.

But God.

I love those words. Proof that two small words can have immeasurable power.

God reminds me to rewind, to catch that patience that I so angrily hefted out the window.

This calling is far from easy. I’ll be honest, I was struggling to submit my anger and pride to Him last night.

As I was laying in bed, all of my complaints and grumblings about the day– especially that class– were racing through my mind. It didn’t help that I misread the assignment and did things wrong. I was angry at myself too, but in my hurt pride, I chose to direct it onto my professor.

This is not what God wants. He convicted me of my anger and pride, reminding me of Evan and Joan in the process.

Now if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that Evan put up a fight, resisting God almost every step of the way.

But God was patient with him. Just like He is abundantly patient with us.

In my grumblings, in my impatience, in my sin, God was still with me last night, patiently waiting for me to settle down and listen to His whispers.

Our Lord doesn’t ask us to do anything that He isn’t doing Himself. Besides being supremely generous, you know what else that means?

We can learn from Him.

Ask Him to teach you patience, joy, contentment, whatever, and He surely will.

In all likelihood, that answer will not include an instant zap of insert character trait here, but rather, situations that will push our buttons.

And in the button pushing, the opportunities for growth are limitless.


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