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The Patience Chronicles

“He was being impatient.”

My husband’s blue eyes meant business as he diagnosed the problem with the man who almost ran into my car yesterday afternoon. Glass and plastic, the debris of one man’s impatience, littered the road. Police officers and firemen milled about getting the accident report. The driver of the vehicle he hit was getting into the ambulance.

As my children and I waited at a traffic light on our way home on a Friday afternoon the driver of a small car decided he could squeeze through the space in front of me and turn left while we waited for the light to turn. What he could not see was the car coming from the other direction. By the time I realized he didn’t see her it was too late. The crash and scraping metal and his car sliding right in beside mine all happened so quickly.

By some miracle my vehicle escaped major damage. In fact, you have to look really hard to see any scrapes at all. The woman in the vehicle he hit walked herself to the ambulance, so while I am sure she is shaken and may have whiplash, her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

But those words of my sweet husband cut me to the core. I’ve been pretty impatient this week over some pretty big decisions. My natural instincts are to check off the items on my to-do list. Waiting for the minor details to be worked out before I can move on doesn’t set well with me. Just like this guy if I think I can squeeze through and get on my way faster, I’m all about giving it a shot.

Then I survey the damage. One short cut, one chance at skipping the line and getting on with Friday fun faster can leave other people sweeping up the debris and the impatient one responsible for the repairs.

I don’t know why the Lord wants to smooth out the rough edges of my impatience so desperately, but He’s been working on this shortcoming of mine for a long time. I used to joke He enrolled me in Patience 101 and then 201. I’m afraid He’s putting me into the graduate level classes now.

Thankfully this reminder did not include more serious consequences for anyone involved.

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