Patience and Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard stands next to Epictetus, in my humble opinion, as acquiring and expressing a kind of weightless gravity and sage-like insight rare and inexhaustible. His writings were voluminous and birthed from him in the intensity of roughly a decade before he was taken from this earth at the age of 42. Talk about a candle blowing in the wind…

Kierkegaard’s writings can be divided roughly between the philosophical and the devotional. There is a mountain to climb either way. In his Upbuilding Discourses (sermons from a man who was not ordained) there are several sermons on the nature of patience. He begins from Luke 21:19 in which Jesus says, “By your endurance (patience for Kierk.) you will gain your souls.”

The key take away for me from several discourses is that patience must be patient. It is only what it is when it is directed at the eternal and trusts the eternal in everything. What is implied is that real patience in gaining the soul can never be disappointed.

Move into temporality with patience and there are conditions. One can wait “so long, but not longer”. How little such a condition and such a waiting deserves the name of patience. How impatient it is.

I will not argue here on the superiority of pursuing and gaining soul over earthly goods. Suffice it to be assumed for now. Next, accept that sin, unrighteousness or vice is all that can get in the way. Next, note that abstaining in temptation amounts to waiting. Finally, what is wanted in such waiting under temptation is patience. Real patience has not temporal end.

I want real patience. Jesus says “Ask and you shall receive.” Dare I believe that I have real patience. Time will tell.

Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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