I was especially stressed out today. For some reason, I am always, always depressed on New Year's Day. No idea why, it just happens every time. This year the depression seemed also to manifest itself in a sort of short-tempered, uncharitable outlook on the world, and every time I wondered what was wrong with me for being so unreasonably mean-spirited it seemed I found a new reason to be angry with someone or something else.
Fortunately I had the presence of mind to deliberately take time to stop and break the cycle; to sit, close my eyes, and just focus on my breathing. No thoughts, just breathing.
Eventually a thought did come into my mind, but it was a pleasant one, so I let it stay...and that was to wonder whether God, who is so good and so full of love, ever maybe does get exasperated with us, if his patience ever wears thin, if he tires of hearing nothing but constant prayers of complaint from billions of people the world over, some of whom really, really need some serious help, but many others -- like myself -- can't ever seem to just be content with all the amazing blessings in their life, there's always something to want or to fear, something to be dissatisfied with. Does he ever get tired of my silly, self-centered prayers?
And then I saw in my mind the image of a small rock. Not a big boulder or heavy stone, just the sort of small rock you might find along the edge of any garden. And my mind seemed to be asking me if I thought this rock, small and unimpressive, ever got tired of being hard. Of course the answer was no, hardness is the rock's essential nature. It doesn't ever become soft and pliant from exhaustion of being hard, it takes no energy, it uses no resources to sustain its hardness. It's just hard.
God is the same way. God is good, God is love. It is his essential nature.