Thursday, April 21, 2005

You're Not Getting Older, You're Getting . . .

I can literally feel myself aging as I wait for pages to load on my dial-up Internet service. We live in an age of instant gratification, and I have to admit I like that. Waiting stinks. The lines on my face increase, the gray clashes with the colorist's scheme on the palette of my pate. My blood pressure rises to boiling. Getting digital would cost more, but it might prevent the inevitable stroke waiting in the wings of my impatience. I run from side to side on the teeter totter of economy and self-preservation. Which will win? Today it's self-preservation. I know I need to be more patient. It's at the top of the charts in the list of "what it takes to love" in 1 Corinthians 13. I've even been schooled in the mountains of waiting and had fair success in the scaling of them. But it's in the molehills of patience where I fail. The snippy tone instead of a kind word to my children; the smile instead of the one-fingered salute to yet another egocentric suburban driver; I fail again and again and again. I'm not getting older, I'm getting what I deserve for my impatience--more impatience. The old saying "God give me patience and give it to me now" is killing me softly with his song. I wish to be patient, but is there a website at which I can order it, charge it to my maxed out credit card and have it delivered to my door by the cute FedEx man? If so, URL STAT SVP. In school, I hated failing tests. I was a would-be perfectionist. I wouldn't always study, but I would always want a perfect grade. Yet in life, I fail tests everyday. The test of having to wait to speak a calm word, the test of sitting quietly while the webpage loads (and loads and loads and loads), the test of using intentional or unexpected stalls in my day for eternal benefit like praying or meditating instead of swearing and tapping my fingers agitatedly. The world doesn't revolve around me (or so I tell my kids, meaning, it doesn't revolve around you, it revolves around ME), but I keep failing the tests God gives me to learn that. I keep hoping He'll change the play book and it will revolve around me. I guess we all feel that way. So the opportunities to learn patience keep coming. Thank God. Thank Him that He IS, unlike I, patient. And whether I believe it or not, He actually wants me to pass the test. Maybe that's why there are so many retakes. One of these days, I'll actually be getting not just older but wiser, and like the old timey commercial says, not older but better.

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