Wed., May 17, 2017
Romans 5:4 – And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.
In the last several days, I’ve been on the receiving end of the several car/truck horn honks. It’s been a little surprising, even mystifying, to me.
Last weekend, hubs Rick and I were in southern Illinois visiting friends. We stayed in a cute little community. After checking into our hotel late Friday afternoon, we drove downtown to see the shops and find a place for dinner. Yes, it was our first time in this community. Yes, I was driving 22 in a 25. Yes, I was gawking out the window while driving. It didn’t take long for the vehicles behind us to become impatient. It was Friday night. It was after work. Would a few more seconds getting to your destination make much difference? Apparently so.
This was not a one-time response. It. Happened. Several. Times. On the third time, the honk was accompanied with another special sign. We thought people would see out-of-state license plates and be excited tourists were looking for a cute dinner spot. To solve the problem, we quickly parked the car and walked up and down the Main Street.
Fast forward a couple days. From Illinois, I went to western Michigan for a continuing education conference. Amazingly, the horn-honking followed me several hundred miles! I’m waiting for traffic to clear before making a left-hand turn. Now, I received a harmony of at least two cars behind me honking! Seriously? Aren’t I to wait for passing traffic? Maybe I missed something as it seemed I created angst in the 20-seconds I waited for the coast to be clear.
By now, I am reflecting. I’m in another cute little community that depends on tourists for their local economy. Have other tourists experienced this same melodious harmony? What would a little more patience look like? Would waiting less than 30 seconds hijack a person’s evening?
Or just maybe, we have lost the ability to wait. Have patience. Be still. In our ever moving, on-the-go society, we have completely forgotten how to be. Wait. Be courteous. Have patience.
Unfortunately, there have been times I have been on the giving end of horn honks. These figurate horn honks happen nearly daily. Waiting in the car for Rick. On the phone, waiting for a customer service rep to get back to me. At the store, trying to keep patience as a person counts out one bill or coin at a time.
Waiting can be excruciatingly slow at times. But how many times has the Lord waited for me? These times are much longer than a few seconds. More accurately, God’s patience represents days, weeks or even years of me removing boulders in my life that kept me from fully trusting God. Why do we expect others to be patient with us but miss the opportunity to bless someone with our patience?
When I losing patience, I project an unpleasant spirit that is unpleasing in God’s sight. Yet, I do it anyway. These character development opportunities can help my faith grow steady and strong. I choose which spirit to embody.
After the events of 9.11, a story circulated about people who were not yet in one of the Twin Towers because of some delay. Where those people initially patient that morning? I do not know. I assume, however, that their view of patience was radically changed.
Somehow, we all need less hurry and more patience in our lives. May I remember this the next time I want to honk my car horn.
Lord God – some of us radically lack patience. Without patience, we also lack the ability to develop character rooted in you. Grant us patience and the patience we need when it doesn’t come quickly! Amen.
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