Saturday, August 18, 2018

Impatience and a 40 MPH Speed Limit

I guess you’d say I’m an impatient person. Sometimes I yell at the microwave: Come on! One minute – are you KIDDING me!

I realize this is not one of my finer qualities. I like to excuse myself by saying, well, I just want to get things done. I don’t have time to dawdle. (How annoying is that, with the undercurrent of ugly pride? Okay, you got me.)

Anyhow I’m trying. I know patience is not only a virtue but a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in me. Although some of the spiritual fruit seem to be developing awfully slowly. (Come ON! Oh, oops…)

Anyhow, one day I was driving to work. It takes me eight minutes from my house. That is, if I don’t get stuck behind somebody who feels that this is their time to meditate, or to take a ride to their happy place. This particular morning I turned a corner and immediately slowed to a crawl. The speed limit is 40. But the person in the car ahead of me apparently did not see the zero.

I could tell that the driver was an older lady. Okay, someone I’m supposed to respect and honor. And I guess that goes for every other person, too. Sweet.

In my mind I could see myself pulling over the double yellow lines, and screeching past her, all the while saying a few things about how some people have places to go and things to do. Yes, brothers and sisters, I was tempted.

But I restrained myself and sank back in my seat. We crept forward another two feet. I was going to be late for work. We crawled up the little rise before you can see the church. I should have just walked to work. I could have passed this lady if I was on crutches. Another few feet forward. Finally I saw the church, and the entrance to the parking lot. I figured my ETA at about 20 more minutes.

I rode the brake as we inched down the hill. An iceberg whizzed by, sloths were moon-walking past us, butterflies streaked by in a blurry line of color. Convoys of turtles zoomed past. One of the turtles looked back at me and snickered.

Please, dear Lord, help me keep it together for just a few more feet. I began to imagine finally hitting the turn lane into the church property and being able to rocket past the little old lady. One of the sloths was passing us again. Apparently, he had lapped us by going round the block. We inched forward a little more.

Down the hill we came. I think I saw some tiny animals, maybe mice, leisurely crossing the street in front of us. It looked like a conga line. Help me, Lord.

Suddenly I noticed that the "pace car" in front of me had its left blinker on. The little old lady was turning into the church. Slowly. (But you guessed that, right?)

I turned in, too, still following her. I parked, and as I got out of the car she was waiting for me and in a cheerful voice called out, “Good morning, Pastor Jim. How are you today?”

“Oh, hi, Helen. I didn’t notice it was you in front of me.”

Pray for me.