A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
- Proverbs 19:11
The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride.
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.
- Ecclesiastes 7:8-9
I have made countless comments about my lack of patience. My wife has claimed, most likely true, that I had her go to the office to have our telephone installed in Germany because I had heard the line was always long and I did not wish to stand in line. I think that might be true because I hate standing in line and in those days, I was expected to be with my platoon and not in a line on the second floor of the Post Exchange, and the Army was famous for “hurry up and wait.” I had many lines to wait in.
But I met my match while getting my car inspected a week ago.
A woman came into the waiting room at the dealership about thirty minutes after I had started to wait. I was at the dealership in that they gave discounts for the first this and the first that. The half-priced inspection was probably the last of the perks. They said my wait would be about an hour and a half. I had plenty to work on, being prepared for the wait. I did not wish for my wait to be too long. The appointment was while my wife was having kidney dialysis. Since the dealership opened about the time that my wife had already had one hour of dialysis, they had to be finished in about two and a half hours at the most. I did not wish for my wife to wait after she had endured dialysis. She usually gets very weak within an hour afterward. The blood vessels are drawing fluid from the extremities. I wanted her in bed by then.
After the woman was in the waiting room for five minutes, the lady pulled out her cellphone. “Come pick me up. They say that the repairs on the car are going to last all day.” <pause> “Oh! I woke you up!! Too bad!!! The car won’t be fixed until 10:00am. [It was 8:30am.] They can call me, and you can bring me back!” She ended the call. No “thank you.” No “goodbye.” Definitely no “I love you,” but I am thinking she had called her husband.
I was thinking. “I have a saint for a wife. Wow!”
Then I thought, “And I thought I was impatient!”
Then I thought, “Amazing how all day is the same as roughly an hour to an hour and a half.”
Then I thought, “Nope, I have written about how I am impatient. I am still impatient. Finding someone that is worse than I does not change the problem that I have.”
I then returned to my reading of a very short, but very good, book, Why a Star? by Bodie and Brock Thoene. While the husband-wife team write, or once wrote, beautiful fiction from a Christian and / or Jewish perspective (a lot of stories about Zion), they wrote this book, part of a series of short books on “Why?” and they give a lot of Scripture to tie everything together.
I made note of the impatient woman. But it did not affect me. About the time that the lady was scheduled to return, the service manager came in and told me that just as the emissions inspection was about to finish, they lost Wi-Fi and they had to start over. The SUV would be ready in thirty minutes. I laughed. I said that was no problem at all. I said nothing that if it was an hour, it would be a bit tight. I knew God had this under His control.
It was only twenty minutes later that I was leaving, a little over an hour before I had to be at the dialysis center, which was about 20 minutes down the road, if I made the traffic lights. I was cheerful, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Yes “Merry Christmas,” and nobody complained about being offended!!
Had I learned patience?
I doubt it. Please do not make me stand in a long line, but God is working on me, little by little.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.