Community in Action October 3, 2020

How is your patient level? I don’t mean are you a good patient when sick, but when you need to exhibit patience in your daily life how well does it go? As I mature I realize more and more that being in a hurry does not usually pay off. You can do things efficiently and quickly, but if you hurry you, or at least I, end up more frustrated than if I just stuck to a regular pace when trying to accomplish something.

    Slowly I have been learning that when I pull up to a stop light and the other lane, the one I am not in, has fewer cars by pulling into that lane does not mean I will get to the next stop light a whole lot sooner. In fact sometimes I just choose to just stand in the lane with more cars to help my patient level increase.

    Sometimes when I want to get somewhere quickly I change lanes without thinking about it. Those are the times I need to stop myself and intentionally not change lanes or just let my automatic response take over and switch lanes, but then remind myself if that lane of cars ends up being slower I will just have to pay the consequences, I am not going to change back.

    It was actually kind of nice when the pandemic first started, there were fewer cars on the road and traveling anywhere was quick and easy. As the restrictions started to lift I noticed I was getting back into trying to get ahead, by switching lanes at stop lights. I slowly returned to my patient self and though I may lapse now and then, for the most part I am pretty content to stay in the lane I am in until I need to switch lanes for a turn or some other major reason.

    I tend to do the same thing with grocery store check out lanes. I usually go for the self-serve, which moves fairly quickly no matter how many people are lined up. 

    Then there was yesterday. I had forgotten lettuce on the way home so I hurried back to the store. I needed to get back because we were fixing dinner and I had a webinar to attend at 7:00 pm.

    I found what I needed and as I looked over the checkout lanes I chose the one that was the shortest. Of course I didn’t notice it was also the lane that had a sign, as you come up to conveyor belt, that said, “Store Clerk in Training, thanks for your patience.” Darn!!

    She actually was moving fairly quickly, but then I noticed she had to find the product code on each item to make sure she scanned it correctly. Still as I looked over to the next lane we were moving a little faster. Then the person just ahead of me had some vitamins, which I guess didn’t have the code, so the clerk had to leave your station to go to the head cashier in another lane to find out what to do.

    I was getting frustrated. Yes I know it is not a big deal and probably the wait would be less then two minutes, but I was getting anxious about getting back home. Finally after she stood by the head cashier for a while waiting till the cashier was available I turned to the person behind me and said this is your spot and switched lanes.

    Of course the lane I switched to had a bagger in training. He was chatty and very precise in putting the products in the bag. I looked over at the line I had been in, and noticed the person behind me was already being helped by the cashier I had left. As the bagger in my lane finished up the customer just ahead of me I found I had a cashier who was efficient, but also very friendly. Still by the time I was finished the two people that had been behind me in the first line were out the door.

    So much for increasing my patient level. Again I realized that just a moment of waiting would have had me out the door sooner rather than later. Thankfully the cashier in my new line was smiling, behind her mask, and greeted me in an upbeat manner. I even made a joke while I was checking out and she and the bagger trainee both laughed.

    Well I guess maybe my impatience had a positive effect anyway. God can even use our impatience for good, good to know.

    Learning to be patient,

    Pastor Randy

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