"why should I not be impatient?"
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." ~