The Senior Year of High School is monumental, a fun-filled ending that wraps up a dozen (or so 😉) years of basic learning. This final year spills over with reflection and contemplation in which a life purpose emerges from a phrase or verse picked out to propel you on to future glories and conquest. The phrase or verse is often quixotic and not practical for what lies ahead in terms of more hard work.
As I considered a Year Book Caption to place under my graduation picture, I came up with one that “sounded” spiritual, but also successful:
“He who endures with patience is a conqueror!”
My thoughts were that of conquest: “Becoming and Doing”!!
To look at my life, it did not seem as though I had to learn patience for much of what I experienced: I did not have to wait to get married – married at 18; I did not have to wait to have children – had my first child at 20. But underneath the surface of my happy-go-lucky veneer was a rage, an anger that would take years to overcome.
In the New Living Translation (NLT) of the Bible, Proverbs 16:32 explains my life caption, perfectly:
Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
I did not have to learn patience in getting married but boy, did I have to learn patience in staying married. As I patiently endured I also grew the beautiful fruit of self-control where conquest is acquired. I did not have to learn patience in waiting to be a mom, but boy, did I have to learn patience in winning the hearts of my children. And now with grandkids, the fruit of self-control smiles down on them.
In the New American Standard translation of the Bible, Proverbs 16:32 clearly discloses:
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit; than he who captures a city.
As God’s gracious fruits (Galatians 5:22-23) grow in my life, I find sharing them with those around me (after 40 years of in-depth training) has brought a realism to
“He who endures with patience is a Conqueror!”