The other day I waited in a queue to make a purchase. When it was my turn at the counter the sales register computer stopped working. I waited while the sales assistant tried to fix the problem. I waited while she called the manager over. I waited while the manager tried to fix it. I waited while they called for IT support. And when they sent me to another sales point I waited while the sales assistant finished answering a customer query.
I don’t know exactly how long I waited, but it was long enough for the manager to give me a 20% discount off my purchase. It was an unexpected reward for waiting patiently.
I’d like to say that I’m always that patient, but of course I’m not. I can get frustrated, irritable and angry, especially when I have an expectation that things should be faster. Sometimes my attitude leaves a lot to be desired.
“Are we there yet?” is a question that also reveals a certain attitude towards waiting. In fact it’s really more of a complaint than a question. It’s taking too long. We’re tired of waiting. We want to get onto the good stuff. We think waiting is pointless and boring. We just want the waiting to be over. We want what we want and we want it NOW. Like the petulant grandson in The Princess Bride, when asked to wait we want to know, “Well, when does it get good?”
Having a good attitude can make all the difference when it comes to waiting, especially in those situations when we have no idea how long the wait will be.
Numerous times I’ve heard that word used to describe me. It was always meant as a compliment, but somehow I was unable to receive it. To me, gentle was just another word for soft, weak, or pushover. I didn’t want to be soft or weak or a pushover. I wanted to be strong, confident, assured.
I’ve wondered why gentleness is included as a gift of the Spirit (see Galations 5:22-23), and why the Bible encourages us to pursue gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11), to clothe ourselves in gentleness (Colossians 3:12), and to let our gentleness be evident to all (1 Peter 3:15).
And then I am reminded that a gentle answer deflects anger (Proverbs 15:1) and that a gentle tongue can break a bone (Proverbs 25:15).
Break a bone? That’s some metaphor. And I was worried about gentleness being weak?
There is power in gentleness.
And tonight I am reminded once again that there is power in gentleness because God is gentle.* He is kind and tolerant and patient.
So I choose to embrace gentleness, grateful that God’s character is being shaped in me.
* Thank you to Sarah Siders. Check out her post here.
I sat down to write; a few rambling thoughts and then I had a sudden urge to go and wash the dishes. What’s with that? I hate washing dishes. Will I be more inspired once my kitchen’s clean, or is that really just procrastination masquerading as responsibility?
Maybe I should go and find out. The dishes certainly aren’t going to wash themselves.
Well … the dishes are clean.
Lord, I know you invited me to meet you on the page. So I guess that’s what I’m doing, showing up at the page. Perhaps that’s what you’re trying to show me; not to wait for inspiration before I start writing; not to wait until I feel like writing; not to wait until you show up before I take a step forward. But to show up in faith that you will meet me here.
I know the best way to write is to tell my own story, with my own voice. I’m still not sure exactly what that is or why anyone else would be interested, but perhaps that’s not for me to judge.
So I’m showing up, and I’m going to keep writing. Because showing up is the only way anything is ever going to happen.
“If you don’t like something change it;
if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
~ Mary Engelbreit
Happiness is an attitude.
We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same.
Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are,
raise your sights and see possibilities – always see them, for they’re always there.
~Norman Vincent Peale
Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently,
but life itself would come to be different.
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you
as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you
as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
~John Homer Miller
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude
in any given set of circumstances.
~Victor E. Frankl
The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday
regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Image courtesy: Enhanced Rainbow by Barb Ver Sluis