I am not a patient person by nature. If you are ever in the grocery store somewhere northwest of Chicago and you happen upon what looks like a tornado pushing a cart full of food at 50 miles per hour, it’s probably me. And you’d best move to the side before I run over your toes. It’s not that I’d hurt you on purpose. I’m was just born to be fast. I’m a fast talker. Fast walker. Quick decision-maker. I’m often in a hurry. It’s my nature.
The upside is that I accomplish a lot in a period of time.
The downside is that I miss moments. I miss opportunities. And, undoubtedly, I miss some invitations from God. Being Open To God’s Invitations is my #1 New Year Resolution, as I posted here. So I’m working on it. Sloooow down, Kel. “Where’s the fire?” as my grandpa used to ask me.
Yesterday, God gave me some invitations.
I took my husband to the eye specialist because he needed to have a cataract evaluation. It took us nearly an hour to drive to the office, and we showed up half an hour early. The doctor was running about an hour behind. The waiting room was filled with patients that were a good thirty years older than we are. The chairs were hard-backed and small. Two gray-haired ladies sat snuggly against me, engaged in a long chat over everything and nothing. They were loud and talky.
My first inclination was to feel annoyed. This appointment was clearly going to take up a good chunk of my day. These senior ladies were clearly not going to stop their chattering anytime soon. My bad back was cramped and sore.
But then……I decided reframe my situation, put my New Year Resolution into practice and look for God’s invitations. Surely He had at least one here for me in this waiting room?
I recognized God’s invitation to rest…..relax….read my book. I had no other agenda there, no chores staring me in my face. I could dive into my juicy novel without guilt.
I recognized God’s invitation to appreciate. The little old ladies were darling, really. I heard all about their aches and pains, their vision problems, and little vignettes from their lives. I appreciated their sweet support of one another. I appreciated that we have good medical insurance, and access to a doctor that can treat my husband’s cataract. If we lived in another century, it could blind him!
I recognized God’s invitation to be patient. Ouch! One of the things I’m sorely bad at! Instead of obsessively watching the clock and fidgeting nervously, I took some deep breaths and practiced patience. I realized how frazzled the doctor must feel, seeing a roomful of patients waiting for him. I recognized that everyone in that waiting room had an issue with their eyes. Some were probably nervous and worried. I could put a pleasant smile on my face, and be an encouraging presence.
And then I saw God’s invitation…..to enjoy a cup of coffee! A Keurig machine sat in the corner of the waiting room, with a variety of flavors available. God is full of surprises! Have I mentioned that I adore coffee?? I brewed a cup for my husband, and one for myself. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.