Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Imagine my thought process if it had said, "Compact Only"

"why should I not be impatient?"
Job 21:4

So I had a doctor's appointment a few weeks ago.  Just a well-check, but I was really not looking forward to it.  I felt too busy and stressed to take time out of my schedule for it, and I knew I was going to end up waiting in the lobby for awhile before I was called in for my appointment.  Because that's just always the case, isn't it?

It was an office I had never been to before, but I wasn't worried about locating it.  I know the area very well, and though I didn't recognize the street address, I knew if I got close, I'd be able to find it. 

When I got close, I glanced at the address again, on a brochure I'd gotten from my referring physician.  There was a crudely-drawn map on the bottom, but I realized that it was so crudely-drawn that it didn't even have the street labeled; just the cross streets.  So again I thought, "Well, I'll get nearby, and I'll figure it out."

Well, as you can probably guess, it wasn't that easy.  The street address of the office is a street that runs north/south.  But the front door of the building (and the actual number on the building) face a street that runs east/west.  So I drove up and down the north/south street, not seeing the number I was looking for, and then finally pulled into the hospital parking lot and called the office.  She gave me more specific directions, and I found my way there.

But as I pulled into the parking lot, I was frustrated.  While I was only going to be a few minutes late to my appointment, a few minutes can make a big difference, the way doctors double-book themselves these days.  I was irritated that the map wasn't more help, irritated with myself for not leaving a few minutes sooner, irritated that doctors double-book, you name it. 

I headed toward a parking spot, but as I turned my car into it, I realized that the spot was labeled:


Now, I realize that they meant "Patient/Customer," with "patient' being a noun, but my immediate, and ironic thought was, "Well, I obviously am not allowed to park here, because right now I am a very impatient customer!"

The humor of my thinking both cheered me a little, but also made me realize what a bad place I was in, emotionally.  I thought, "what if we were excluded from things because of our attitudes?"  But in truth, we are.   We miss out on things because we're distracted by ourselves, or we flat-out ignore things because of our misdirected focus.   What do we not notice, hear, or see when we are irritated, impatient, or selfish?

I went ahead and parked in that spot, but in a weird way, I felt like I had a responsibility to improve my attitude.  A few deep breaths, and a few prayers later, I was in a better place.  Blessed are the patient customers.

~ "The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." ~
Ecclesiastes 7:8

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