How patient are you while standing in a line with a slow cashier? How about while driving behind a car who is going below the speed limit? 5 miles below? 10 miles below? What about waiting for an email someone said they just sent to you? Do you do what I do? Hit the F9 key over and over to see if the email came in yet? I ask because I wonder if I am alone in this thought process.
We live in an instant gratification society.
Instant coffee versus percolator coffee.
Fast food and microwaves versus cooking a meal that takes an hour or longer.
Email in seconds versus snail mail that used to take weeks.
Bullet trains.The standing joke as a Christian is to not pray for patience because God will give us trials that teach us patience.
Why am I bringing all of this up today? Good question. Not because I found the secret to becoming a more patient person. Honestly, we do learn patience through the many trials we experience. Each trial gives us thicker skin and a lesson to take home we can learn from, or if we are stubborn, relearn again.
Trust me, I have relearned many lessons…lol.
These past six months have been a trial in patience and learning to say no. Often my lessons come in multiples.
I have learned patience as we have had more difficult customers this past year than in previous years. It has been a grueling year as people’s tempers are at an all-time high with prices, politics, and other personal issues. I am practicing patience as I pray before answering the phone. Praying for discernment and the right words to reach the person on the other side of the phone. Sometimes I am able to reach them with empathy or a little humor. However, if I can’t win them over, I pray after the call that God will reach them for me using someone else. I take each day as a new challenge with God by my side when I open the doors and start our day.
Learning to say no…
This is a very hard lesson for me. I want to help everyone. My husband and I are often ‘doers’ and not much ‘sitters’ lol. Saying no is not part of my vocabulary. However, we all know – you cannot say yes to everything because something will suffer. Too many spinning plates in the air will absolutely ensure some will fall to the ground.
So, I have had to say no. God is working on me. It’s my personal struggle. I understand it and I am willing to listen to His still small voice. I know what it is like when I ignore the signs. I have before. It’s not pretty. Again, I wait patiently as God tells me to step back on a few things as He works on me and the things around me.
Well, I wait… kind of patiently…lol
Still a work in progress!
Praying in the waiting!
Love you guys!
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 NIV
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Corinthians 13:4
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.