“I can’t stand it anymore!” Pepe complained to himself. “When will dad get a job? When will my parents be able to afford the red sneakers I want? When will this horrible cough go away? When will my bean in the jar at school start to sprout roots? Agh! I want all these things to happen NOW!”
Pepe was not having a good day. Actually he’d been asking these questions for several days and it was making him tired, sad, anxious, cranky, and troubled.
“Pepe, don’t forget your snacks. I can’t believe you left them here yesterday. You won’t want to be hungry again at school today,” his mom reminded him.
Pepe ran to catch the school bus. At school, he couldn’t concentrate in class. During recess he didn’t want to play with his friends, and as he was pouting, he saw Irene—one of his classmates—and wondered why she always looked calm. “Maybe she could help me,” he thought.
“Hi, Irene…” Pepe mumbled as she walked by.
“Oh, hi Pepe! What’s up? Hey, you don’t look too well,” Irene noticed.
“Yeap,” Pepe responded looking at the ground.
“What’s going on?” Irene asked.
Pepe told her about all of his wants and worries, and how they’d been affecting him for days.
“It seems like you don’t really have much faith or patience, Pepe,” Irene told him. “Have you thought about calling the Three Musketeers—God? I always do…”
“Have you seen the Three Musketeers too?” Pepe was surprised.
“Of course,” she responded. “I especially like to talk to Jesus. He’s so easy going…”
“Finally someone brings us to your attention, Pepe!” The Holy Spirit said. “I’ve been trying to calm you down for several days but it seems that you were too preoccupied to hear me.”
“Oh…” was the only thing Pepe could say, and wondered if he could be honest with the Musketeers.
“Why can’t things in life happen faster? I’m afraid we’ll run out of food soon because dad doesn’t have a job, or that the science teacher will give me a bad grade because my little bean in the jar doesn’t want to come up. Also, I haven’t been able to talk or sleep lately because this horrible cough (bronchitis, the doctor says) won’t go away, and I might never get those awesome red sneakers all the boys have…I really want them!”
“Do you NEED those sneakers, Pepe?” Jesus asked.
Pepe and Irene both had to think about that one.
“Ahhh…well…no, not necessarily,” Pepe was more thoughtful. “It would be cool to have them!”
“Listen, Pepe,” started Jesus, “you can learn so much from this friend you have right here.”
“Irene?” he looked at her.
“Yes, Irene,” Jesus said. “She always trusts me, and because of that, she has developed a patience beyond understanding. That’s why you can feel calmness when you’re around her.”
“That’s easier said than done!” Pepe protested.
“I know.” Jesus said matter-of-fact. “Even though it’s easier for some than others, it doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved at all.”
“With my help, of course,” the Holy Spirit intervened.
“Exactly,” the Father smiled. “You know Pepe…going through this will make you stronger and will help you develop your faith and patience. Try to listen to the Holy Spirit, it will save you so many headaches. Who knows, you might turn into a superhero someday.”
“Okay, but since you’re here, could you please make what I need happen now?” Pepe whined. “I know you’re super-powerful.”
“Don’t worry, we’re in control of the situation,” the Three Musketeers responded in unison.
“We love you so much that you’ll get what’s good for you at the right time,” Jesus assured Pepe.
Suddenly, poof! The Three Musketeers were out of sight. But Pepe and Irene knew they where still there.
“See, told you!” Irene laughed. “They’re so awesome!”
“I guess I have a lot to learn, right Irene? But, don’t expect me to be exactly like you. I don’t think I can do it…” Pepe complained.
“Yes you can, it’s up to you,” Pepe heard the Holy Spirit say inside of him.
This story is dedicated to the Arguedas-Quesada family (Irene, Esteban, Milena, and Hugo), who’ve been great examples of patience and faith.
“My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.” James 1:2-3
“Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God,” 2 Peter 1:5-6
“Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem.” Proverbs 25:15
“I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.” John 14:27