Sunday, March 23, 2014

"The Patience of Saints" by Jo Bogner

  1. Revelation 14:20 “Here is the patience of the saints, who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”  What does keeping the commandments and Christ’s testimony have to do with patience? We are all a work in progress and need to be patient with God and ourselves. I’m still learning this. 
My first job out of college was in New York City.  When I first got there I loved it, but as they years wore on it became a very difficult and challenging place to live. People were often very cold; moving around in this great mass of humanity, but withdrawn into themselves. I felt alone. 
My career had plateaued and I was ready to move onto the next chapter in my life.  I tried for years to find another job.  I contacted everyone I knew, networked, applied for jobs, etc.  I had some good leads, but nothing materialized.  I had no choice but to stay in that difficult place, in a job I had grown to despise, living paycheck to paycheck.   I kept praying and praying but it seemed like my prayers were not being answered.   Month after month it was the same thing.  It was very discouraging. I felt like I was never going to get out of there.  
During that time, I prayed several novenas to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, or "The Little Flower" as she is known.  She promised to spend her heaven doing good on earth and helping people.  In this novena, people often ask for a rose as a sign that their petition was being answered.  I had prayed this novena several times with no rose—but I kept praying.  One evening after work, I made my way home from Manhattan to my car, which was parked in Hoboken, NJ.  I had to walk around six blocks from the train station along some rough looking streets to the dirt parking lot where my car was parked.  I couldn’t afford to park in the lots closest to the train station. 
On my way home, I passed several lots before I got to mine.  As I was walking past one particular lot, absorbed in my thoughts about my day and what I was going to do that evening, I someone called out, “Excuse me, Miss.”  I turned around and looked behind me because there was no one around as I passed these parking lots.  This was also highly unusual because New Yorkers aren’t friendly in that way.  A man was standing on the sidewalk behind me with an outstretched arm holding a rose.  He said, “I just wanted to give this to you to brighten your day!”  I was even more flabbergasted—these things just don’t happen on the rough streets of New York (or Hoboken for that matter) and there was no one around when I walked past the lot. 
 I realized as I was driving home that evening that this was a rose from St. Therese.  It was a sign that my prayers were being heard and not to lose heart, even if it wasn’t happening fast enough for me.  It was still several more months before I finally got out of there, but I felt such comfort knowing that God was listening to my prayers. He just wasn’t answering them on my schedule!

Jo Bogner is President of Veritas Consulting Group, Inc.  She provides aviation consulting, strategic planning and organizational development services to a variety of aviation and non-aviation organizations.  Jo is formerly the Director of Operations and the Director of the Office of Strategic Services at San Diego International Airport and has held positions at a number of other airports including J. F. K. International, LaGuardia Airport and Newark International Airport. She received a bachelor’s degree in Airport Administration and is a licensed pilot.   
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