I consider my patience as a cup which is mostly full each day. It starts out so well, and then I get out of bed. :) Does this sound familiar? I laugh, but seriously, patience is one of the harder fruits for me to display. I want everything right now or maybe sooner if possible. I normally joke with friends that I will not pray for patience because I know God will intervene and give me a lesson to teach me more patience. However, what I sometimes forget is that even when I don't pray for patience, that does not mean He won't give me the lesson He knows I need. Today was one of them.
I went to the local superstore to have tires put on my car. We purchased the tires a few days ago and the store stated they would hold the tires and we could just come in as scheduled and the new tires would be mounted and balanced. Easy right? Well, I started my day with the full cup of patience and then it spilled out a bit when I realized I was late for my appointment. No problem, I wasn't far from the store so being a tad late shouldn't be a problem. Except for me. Growing up in the military we learned promptness was essential. Showing up early was considered on time. Being on time was actually considered late. I am a bit driven by schedules and spent the next few minutes putting myself down for being late.
After giving myself the proper scolding, I regrouped and walked into the store. Finding no one around I waited a few minutes, and a young man came up to the counter and I told him I was here to get the tires put on my car. He asked if I had an appointment. I wouldn't be there if I didn't... Okay, breathe. I put on a smile and regrouped and said yes and the tires should be waiting for me as well. He looked confused and started reviewing paperwork and typing frantically into the computer in front of him. This didn't look good. He asked if we had the tires. No, I didn't have the tires. This small task took a turn as four more associates came out to assist. No one knew where the runaway tires were. My patience cup spilled out a bit more.
Thirty minutes later, and finger pointing as to who 'lost' the tires, they decided to use tires they had on the shelf for my car. After the team of associates decided they made the right decision, they proceeded to leave me standing there. I had to call one of them back to ask if I needed to wait for the tires or if I should come back. In shock he looked at me and said he would text me when they were ready. I know I was pushing my luck, but I had to ask which number they were going to text. Come to find out, it wasn't mine. So after a bit of murmuring, they wrote my number down and I proceeded out the door to apologize to my ride back to the house for the lengthy process.
Fifteen minutes after we got home, my husband texted me and told me they let him know the tires were ready. My patience cup was leaking at that point.
So, we proceeded to the superstore once again. When I arrived, no one was at the front desk again. After waiting a few more minutes someone appeared. There was issue with the bill and obtaining a receipt for me. One of the employees looked at me exasperated and stated, "I am new here!" I took a breath and said I understand you need to have that copy for your records, but can you make a copy for me? He stopped and realized there was a copy machine behind him and proceeded to make the copy. I smiled and thanked him and headed out the door.
I started my car and almost immediately received a warning about the tire pressure of one of my new tires. I took a picture of the warning and proceeded back into the store. I showed it to the young man and he said he would look into it. After a few more minutes he said he Googled it and the car needed to be driven for ten minutes and the car would reset. In faith, after looking at all the tires, I drove the car away from the parking lot to go down the road and test the newest theory.
Low and behold the young man was right. However, as I celebrated the moment, I suddenly heard a sound like something fell off my car. That sound proceeded to happen four times before it stopped. I stopped the car, checked the lug nuts, and got back into the car again. No more noise. My patience cup was empty at that moment.
I drove home after a bit and sat alone to regroup. I needed a moment and my Heavenly Father to refill my cup. Lesson learned for today. Keep coming back to Him when things are a bit wonky.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. (NLT)
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (NLT)
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