We ran out of coffee one morning, so I went to the grocery store. As I prepared to check out, a well-dressed lady in front of me seemed upset at the cashier. She mentioned she bought the items for her church for the last 10 years and never had a problem with the check. The cashier remained friendly, but after the matter was settled by a manager, the lady grabbed her bags, ignored the cashier’s “Merry Christmas” and hurried off shaking her head, most likely headed to church.
I wanted to smack my forehead, not so much for the lady’s behavior or because her impatience was coupled with her saying the items were for her church, but for the fact I have shown impatience similar to hers while in public.
I consider it a wake-up call.
This time of year tends to clog up the roads, aisles, restaurants and check-out lines. As a point A to point B kind of guy, I’m challenged by having to accept points Y and Z. I’m sure I have aimed my car for a parking space with more gusto than needed. I’m sure I have used a shopping cart like a bobsled. I’m sure I have jumped lanes in a store to find the best flow.
But I’ve also shown impatience in other areas by allowing the marketing of a materialistic Christmas to rob my joy at times. With the meaning of Christmas holding little regard in songs, advertisements and television specials, an alien to our planet would have a difficult time drilling down to the importance of Jesus.
With all these opportunities for impatience, I’m reminded how to respond to the gift of Jesus Christ with joy.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:12-13
These fruits of the spirit can help us to overcome impatience. They are the helicoptor that will fly you over traffic. They are the personal express lane in a Walmart check out line. They are the choice morsels at a dysfunctional family dinner.
Whatever this Christmas season has looked like for you and your family, I hope you are enjoying the gift we receive through the perfect life, death on the cross, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.