Does your impatience include a huff while standing in line at the store or waiting at a table at a busy restaurant? Inevitably, if you’re not the guilty party, someone around you fits the bill. The line is long, the wait is exhausting, and now there’s a price check at the register. Or your waitress doesn’t take your order in record time. You sit, tapping your watch in hopes she’ll see how time is slipping away and how she’s neglecting your table.
It’s not new to society. The disgruntled sighs and huffs sing out simultaneously as impatience makes its dissatisfaction known. You live in an instant world and expect immediate . . . everything. You want food now, but you want it hot and in the form of a home cooked meal. Not microwaved.
Soft drinks should pop out of the vending machine before all the money has been properly weighed by its electromagnetic field. Sudden outbursts of kicking and punching the machine may erupt. These signs of impatience may help release frustration, but still, the money must process through the machine before it can deliver your purchase.
You’ve heard it said that patience is a virtue. According to Wikipedia, Virtue is moral excellence and Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. Take this a step further, what is the definition of Impatience? Webster defines it as restlessness and intolerance of delays. Sound familiar?
On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, where does your patience radar rank?
Look at it this way. It’s kind of like when telling a child he can have a popsicle, then you add, in a minute. He stands around expressing disapproval by slumping, moaning, pouting, huffing, and sometimes outright throwing a fit. Can you see this happening? Not a pretty picture.
Now imagine an adult behaving in the same manner. Well, you may not throw yourself on the floor screaming and crying, but adults have distinct body signals and verbal groans that indicate frustration.
Some of you will laugh at the above word picture while others, in the silence of your homes, will . . . grunt.
I’m sure you’ve heard many times not to pray for patience or God will test you and put challenges in your path to strengthen your tolerance. I, for one, certainly don’t need any more tests.
How do you overcome impatience?
Pay attention to your physical and verbal behavior when you feel frustration rising.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
This cliche, What Would Jesus Do, fits perfectly. What would happen if you stopped huffing, whispered a prayer, and strive to be more like Him?
Fact is, you don’t know what the other person is going through. She may have a sick child or a dying family member. She could have received a bad medical report or her home gone into foreclosure. You don’t know . . .
. . . She may need your smile-more than you need hers.