Attitude Adjustment. On Patience and a positive attitude, By Rev. Joshua D. Foss D.D.
"Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes." It's a sentence we all know. Famous orders given to colonial troops at the Battle of Bunker Hill as the colonial soldiers stood fast, watching a giant sea of red walking toward them, bayonets fixed. I would imagine that the anticipation was nearly sickening. But what was meant by the words, don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes? Do you think that it literally meant to hold your fire until the enemy was that close? Possibly. But I would rather think that the officer in charge of saying this phrase was telling his men to bide their time, and wait for the opportune moment to attack. Don't waste time, and energy (not to mention ammunition) by trying to rush things. Pick your shots, and make sure that they count. Certainly you've heard someone during your life say something along the lines of, "Don't buy the first car that you drive." This follows the same principle. You've gotta wait until you find the one that best suits your needs. One that feels comfortable. One that you can trust to take you from where you are, to where you need to be, safely and reliably. Sound familiar?
One very important factor in our spiritual growth is the attitude that we use to approach it. Attitude can be both a tool, and a hindrance, depending on a person's views when taking on things such as training, study, meditation, waiting to be taken as an apprentice, etc. Someone with a positive outlook on his or her spiritual advancement will have a much easier time of accepting the ever-important myths of faith and the words of others, as opposed to someone who grows impatient rapidly or views things in a negative light. Nothing worth having comes easily or immediately.
If you believe that you are a Jedi, then you are a Jedi. Plain and simple fact. However, if you wish to study and become a Knight, Senior Knight, or even a Master, then you must walk down a long and difficult path. You must study. You must listen to your fellow Jedi. You must listen to yourself. You must complete assignments. You must contribute to the study of your brethren. In doing all of this, you must be patient. This will take time. You must trust in yourself and your teachers. You have to KNOW that you are going to do this. You must create positive habits that will help you reach your goals. Habits that will help you understand that becoming a Jedi Knight is not what someone teaches you, but what you learn. Even our Masters continue to learn and grow on a daily basis, and some have been Masters for several years.
Becoming an apprentice does not guarantee that you will become a Knight. Once you become an apprentice you will have to believe that all of the assignments that you are doing are worthwhile. And you can't give up when things get tough, either. And trust me, my friend, things will get tough. It all falls back to your attitude and your patience. If you approach an assignment as "Just more homework." Or "Why do I have to do this?" You are already doubting yourself, and your Master. Embrace the assignments that you are given with vigor, and without question. Do the best job that you can. Take the time that you need to complete it efficiently. Use patience in completing your assignments as well as in receiving them. Though you will not see any subterfuge at this Temple, sometimes your Master is looking for an answer that isn't obvious to someone that rushes through it.
Don't approach your Jedi path as a means to an end. Don't look at your studies as the next step closer to being a Knight. It's not the rank or the initials beside your name that define you as a Jedi. It's how you live as a Jedi. What you do with what you learn, and how you apply these teachings. Also, remember that we are not here to change your mind. We are here to open it.