Persisting through Frustration

Sr. Pat Thomas, OP
Blog by Sr. Pat Thomas, OP

Frustration is that feeling you experience when even the most simple of task is suddenly insurmountable, and there does not seem any reason for it. From untying a knot in a chain to changing the systems that control our lives, we experience times when it seems we can do nothing to change anything. That is frustration.

But there is that one thing that keeps pushing us to try. I know someone who does this well and treats frustration like a “dog with a bone.” There will always be a way and no one can take it away from us.

Have you been reflecting on the daily Gospel passages these last weeks? Jesus is so frustrated he even resorts to name-calling; something we never advise people do. ‘Hypocrites’ is his word to describe those leaders who keep denying that they do not know who he really is. They cannot accept what they know because it will mean their lives and strategies will have to change and they see no good coming out of that. They will lose power, have less influence on people’s lives and, in general, won’t feel as important as they think they are. Jesus sort of says “Get over yourselves. There are greater needs and needier situations than you being frustrated that life as you know it has to change.” Easy for Jesus to say.

How frustrated have you been about a little thing like wearing a mask? How frustrated have you been about the lack of decision-making coming out of Washington? How frustrated have you been since the storms (they have been all over the country) when you try to get disaster relief? How frustrated have you been when your child turns to drugs or alcohol and there is seemingly nothing you can do to help. How frustrated have you been with medical issues and paperwork? How many times have you said, “I am so frustrated?”

Jesus’ frustration was real and intense, but like that dog with that bone, he persisted. He continued to speak truth to power and work towards the goals he knew were for the common good. We must do the same, and even in the simplest moments of frustration, don’t look for the easy outcome; look for the outcome that will serve the kingdom!

Posted in Weekly Word

7 responses to “Persisting through Frustration

  1. So grateful Pat, for your speaking the truth which sets us free. I will do my best when I get frustrated to remember and relive your words not to look for the easy outcomes.

    Keep preaching the Word, your great at it!


  2. I too appreciate what is recorded in the Gospels — Jesus’s “Name calling” — you hypocrites — I think of that as HIs way of trying to get them to listen.

  3. I love your last line: “…the outcome that will serve the kingdom.” I will remember that! Thank you!

  4. Thank you, Pat. Very appropriate and timely. I found your words very helpful especially after seeing tonight’s news. Keep up the good work. Blessings.
    Be Peace.

  5. I was very frustrated with my finances and after a great length of time I told God I’m going to get groceries and maybe someone at the store will lift my spirits. God answered and a middle aged man recognized me ( I did not recognize him) whom I had known when he was in grade school. My spirits were lifted!

  6. Great insights, Pat, and so timely. I think our world is suffering from PTSD, with anger being ignited by a myriad of major and minor frustrations. I’m finding it helpful to journal my way toward serenity by processing my stressors and praying my way to wise decision-making.

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