‘As the waves of the sea seek to cover the sands, so does impatience endeaver to hide the wisdom of man.’– Anonymous
My husband took me out to have breakfast this morning. We took his truck because he needed to get gas while we were out and about.
It didn’t matter where we went, what intersection we went through, what line we stood in. Everywhere was a wait. It didn’t take long before both of us began to feel impatient and frustrated. We smiled, and nudged our way through people who just decided to stand in our way, to not move even though they knew we were on our way to somewhere very important, and whose entertainment today was to simply get on our last nerve.
You may think I am exaggerating to make my point, but I assure you, I am not. I became upset, and just wanted to go home. There would be nobody there to fuel my impatience. Nobody would get in my way at home. I would be in charge! Yeah, right.
We got home, and immediately my BIG dog decided to jump all over me and nearly knocked me down. I let him outside, and while gathering laundry to wash, I heard my husband hollering at me from our back yard. I dropped everything, ran out on the deck, and saw he was weed-eating along our fence. And of course, our BIG dog was chasing him along it, barking and causing a ruckus.
What’s my point? Once I finally got the dog settled down, once I got my laundry started, the dishwasher loaded, once I got the finished laundry put away, I sat down. And I thought about what I would write about today. And then the VOICE spoke to me. You know the one, the small, still VOICE that is louder than any bullhorn ever invented. And the message was clear. ‘They were you.’ What?’, I asked. ‘Who was me?’ ‘The people, and even the dog. They were you.’ Immediately I became contrite. Because He was absolutely right.
I realized that I often act like those people did today. I act without regard for feelings, with the selfish assumption that my plans are more important than other peoples plans. I often set out with purpose to accomplish what I have to do. While that is not a bad thing, it is the way I do it that might be.
So now, as I prepare to go to the grocery, where I will experience more of the same stress as this morning, I will be intentional and show mercy and grace, and take a big breath and smile. I must show Jesus. Not just when I’m happy and all is going my way, but in those times when life slows my pace.
Jesus offers mercy, grace, and forgiveness each and every day. We must do the same. Let’s embrace the privilege we have to be His hands and His feet. Our smile, and our graciousness to others, no matter what they have done, or how they have waylaid our perfect plans, must be displayed despite our impatience. Jesus is Our Hope, and He will never withhold those things from us. It is not our right to withhold them from others.
‘All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.’ Proverbs 21:2-3 (NIV)
Very important lesson for all of us to learn. Hope we think about our attitudes the next time we find ourselves in these moments. Better yet, to pray about these areas in our lives before we encounter them so we are prepared to act in a gracious manner towards others. Thanks for sharing your experience. We can easily identify with you. 🙂