This weekend, Daniel invited me out to eat at one of our favorite places. His idea that he’d bike the 30 miles, and I’d drive to meet him there.
Sounds fun, right?
And Sanguines like to have fun, right?
So why did this test my patience?
I already had a plan!
And I do not like having anyone change my plans.
Oh, the Wait!
Once we arrived at the resaurant, we were greeted by an unexpectedly long line. Even the wait for the restroom was 10 minutes.
When we got to the front of the line, we heard, “We’re out of frittata right now; do you mind waiting 15 minutes?”
By the time our food was served, at least 30 minutes after we’d arrived, it was cold.
And they’d forgotten the catsup.
Why did this test my patience?
I had things to do!
I like my food hot!
I want what I want when I want it!
My Time Is Not My Own
I recently finished reading The Screwtape Letters with my AP English Lit & Comp students.
As always, I “ouched” my way through Letter #21 because it so accurately describes my self-centered approach to time:
The more claims on life, therefore, that your patient can be induced to make, the more often he will feel injured and, as a result, ill-tempered. Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him.
It is the unexpected visitor (when he looked forward to a quiet evening), or the friend’s talkative wife (turning up when he looked forward to a tête-à-tête with the friend), that throw him out of gear….
They anger him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen. You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption “My time is my own”. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours.
You have here a delicate task. The assumption which you want him to go on making is so absurd that, if once it is questioned, even we cannot find a shred of argument in its defense. The man can neither make, nor retain, one moment of time; it all comes to him by pure gift…
Oh, how meeked I am to be reminded — yet again! — that every moment is “pure gift.”
“For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life
through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This “free gift” is the ultimate expression of God’s love.
“For God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
Demonstrating the height and depth of God’s love, Jesus paid the ultimate price to give us the “free” gift of eternity.
Yet I fret about waiting 30 whole minutes for my food?
I’m frustrated about spending two whole hours doing something I didn’t dream up and put in my schedule?
Oh Lord, take this stony, stubborn heart and replace it with one that’s tender and responsive!
A Woman Whose Love Protects
I want to be a conduit of God’s love.
But I am such a naturally impatient Choleric!
(So’s my firstborn: Annemarie’s first emotion word, when she was less than two years old was, “I fuss-tae-ted!”)
During the first 12 days of this challenge, we took to heart twelve verses that remind us of who we are in Christ.
And yes, it is powerful to counter the enemy’s attacks by speaking God’s truth: “I am LOVED! I am CHOSEN! I am COMPLETE!”
But we can’t stop there.
When I feel impatience rising, I must flip these verses around.
I must tell myself that the person toward whom I’m feeling frustration is
LOVED by God (Ephesians 1:4)
CHOSEN by God (John 15:16)
COMPLETE in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
made PURE by God (1 Corinthians 1:30)
declared RIGHTEOUS by God (Romans 3:24)
- FORGIVEN by God (Ephesians 1:7)
FREE by the power of the life-giving Spirit (Romans 8:1-2)
- VICTORIOUS through Christ (Romans 8:37)
- a NEW person with a NEW life (2 Corinthians 5:17)
CONFIDENT in God’s presence (Ephesians 3:12)
God’s MASTERPIECE (Ephesians 2:10)
INSEPARABLE from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39)
And if I’m to have any hope of doing this in the high-pressure atmosphere of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I must start practicing.
Replacing my impatient “baditude” with God’s word and gratude.
Practicing now, for patience then.
- What kind of people or behaviors trigger your impatience?
- What physical signals tell you that your impatience is rising? (I can actually feel it in the bridge of my nose!)
- Anything else on your heart!
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