One rare evening while zoning out in front of the television, a commercial caught my eye. The commercial depicted a kid walking through wet cement, then past an older gentleman who was putting down a sidewalk. The older gentleman just smiled at the kid, and the words "Patience, Pass It On" appear at the bottom of the screen to the tune of "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I was struck to see a fruit of the spirit advertising itself, and that somoene in our go-go-go me-me-me world felt the need to spread this message.
It also brought back an obscure childhool memory of vacation bible school. As a kid, my mom would stash us at church every day for a week or two, something that was painful at the time. From hideous arts and crafts, to having to hear about Jesus all dang day it was not my idea of summer vacation. Despite the pain, I remember enjoying some of songs we sang, largely because the Pastor would break out his bass guitar (let's face it, for Northern Minnesota Lutherans a bass guitar is pretty wild). One of the songs was called "The Fruits of the Spirit". The words were simple, the tune was "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and we sang it as a round.
For readers unfamiliar with the fruits of the spirit, they are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. The idea of nuturing and sharing these fruits is one of the few lessons that has stuck with me from Sunday School days, as you don't have to be a Lutheran (or any Christian varietal) to practice them. Anyone, from the most die-hard right wing fanatic to the complete non-believing athiest can have any and all of those qualities.
Obviously, the fruits of the spirit in today's world are not so abundant, or the folks who run http://www.values.com would not feel the need to advertise them. I find myself curious if a non-patient person might see this commercial, and actually make a change in their behavior because of it. I know it made me stop and think about how many times a day I feel unnecessarily urgent and impatient, for no particular reason other than the go-go-go me-me-me world says I'm supposed to hurry. It also reminded me of the rest of the lyrics to the song: "against such there is no law." There is no reason NOT to act in such a way, as you will not get a ticket for being nice, loving, and especially controlling oneself (gee if only more of us could do that). If we manage to nurture these fruits, and share them with everyone we see, the world just might be a little more pleasant.
To see the TV spot that inspired this blog, go here: