One might think patience is a natural progression from yesterday’s post on forgiveness, but really it’s more of a penance for the day I had. There was a project that did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. First I discovered I was missing some pieces, prompting a trip to the store. While I was out, I figured I would drop a book shelf off at a friends, return some cans and bottles, and donate some items to Goodwill. My friend’s husband answered the door, which is good for us as she would have invited me in, we would have picked up conversation where we left off last time, and I would never have finished my project, but I would have had a great time. Task two was the bottle return and short shopping trip. The first sign my patience was wearing thin was the conversation I had with the bottle machine.
Machine: Spits out Coca-cola can for the third time.
Me: It’s a Coke, machine. Can’t you read the can? You have to take Coke!
Machine: Takes the can.
Me: That’s more like it.
It was all down-hill from there. Fast. I truly believe that machine took the last drop of patience I had.
Of course, after returning cans, my hands are rather sticky, so I need to wash them before shopping. As I emerge from the restroom, I am keenly aware of the sounds of the registers. BEEP! BEEP!! BEEP!!! This being Sunday after church, almost every register is open. What is the volume on these things? Can we turn it down a little? I can still hear them from the back of the store! I decided I could never work retail. After the first day, I would be carted off in a straight-jacket by guys in white coats.
As we can see, my patience was gone. So having to return to the store (because the milk was open), and then going to another store (DaddyFoster said the price of bread was too high at the first, and I had forgotten to drop off my donations), then being interrupted by boys because they are hungry/thirsty/frustrated with their brother’s fighting technique…we’re talking Xbox, not UFC…, these things were not helpful. At some point my husband, Dear DaddyFoster, having seen enough of my impatient behavior, said “maybe tomorrow’s post should be about patience. Did you just roll your eyes at me?” I almost did. Lucky for him, I was sane enough to think, “Yes! I have a topic for tomorrow!”
So here we are. Patience is a virtue. Patience is fruit of the Spirit. Patience is something that can wear thin after two weeks cooped up with 5 boys in a 1,000 sq. ft., upstairs apartment, regardless of special considerations. Hmm, “wear thin”. This is an interesting term. Like patience is somehow a buffer between us and something else. Life still happens, whether I have all the patience in the world, or it’s as thin as twenty-year old towels. The children still need tending too, the groceries still need to picked up, the registers still beep (though seriously, what decibel level are these at?). Appointments must be kept, errands must be run, dinner must be made. I need patience! “Ask and it will be given to you;” (Matthew 7:7) I believe today, I shall ask for patience.