Lara and I were at the counter of a Rite Aid drug store yesterday when I overheard a mother with young children walking in the front door. Her tone of voice let me know she was frustrated. She said this to one of the little kids: "Boy, if you don't walk faster, I'm going to walk right over you." Ouch! That was awkward.
Now I'm not here to judge or criticize a young mother. She probably was just having a tough day. And she probably regretted saying it as soon as the words came out of her mouth. We've all said a few things out of frustration that we now wish we could take back. But her words did remind me of this important truth: We must be patient with each other.
People sometimes move, talk, think, drive, work, and dress very slowly. They are just plain slow in how they carry on their daily lives. And some people are mighty slow in learning lessons and making necessary changes. It can be frustrating watching people like this, and it can try our patience at times. In lots of ways, we want people to hurry up and get a move on things. Now!
But we must be more patient with people. With God's help, it is possible for us to relax for a moment and give folks more time. And if we need others to pick up the pace for important reasons, we can gently and creatively encourage them to speed things up a little bit without blowing our stack and saying mean things.
When we are impatient with each other, we live in frustration and tension.
When we are impatient with each other, we say and do things we later will regret.
When we are impatient with each other, we are being totally unlike God, who is more than patient with us.
May God help us to be more patient with people today. May we keep calm and give slower folks the time they need. Finally, may we remember 1 Corinthians 13:4, which teaches us "Love is patient".
Let's live in patience today.