I’m convinced one’s ability to roast marshmallows successfully is directly related to the level of patience the person possesses. For example, give me a stick with a marshmallow on the end, and seconds after I begin roasting it, I’m shrieking while doing an impromptu stop-the-blazing-inferno dance around the campfire. Meanwhile, my friends serenely twirl their marshmallows exactly 3.4 inches above the flame, and ten minutes later their marshmallows are toasty and perfect for s’mores.
I survey my charred marshmallow and would like to blame my lack of roasting ability on the paucity of camping experiences in my life. (That’s not a complaint.) But I need to be more patient. Even though properly toasting a marshmallow may be a simple way to demonstrate patience, there are reasons why practicing it in other areas of life is important.
Practicing patience leads to understanding and empathy. Take a look at Proverbs 14:29: “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” Having a patient spirit allows us to take time to identify with people and their problems and helps us avoid reckless reactions that add to the hurt others may be experiencing.
When we practice patience, we demonstrate our faith in God as we wait for him to work in our situations. In Hebrews 6:15, we’re told, “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” After Abraham and Sarah had waited many years, their promised son was born. Later in Hebrews chapter 11, Abraham is commended for his faith.
It is not always easy to practice patience, but when we do, we can have greater understanding and can demonstrate our faith in God.
And we can also improve our marshmallow-roasting skills.