Being patient

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"Life is change,” said the elderly woman who sat across from me at the Volvo dealership. “That’s what you can count on! Life will not remain the same but is always changing.”  

"Life is change,” said the elderly woman who sat across from me at the Volvo dealership. “That’s what you can count on! Life will not remain the same but is always changing.”  

So there I was sitting, waiting for my car to be repaired, listening to a complete stranger complain about last year’s service on her car. She was nice enough alright, but I really hate waiting for anything, especially unwanted car service while having to sit patiently trying to think up something intelligent to say. 

 “I hate waiting,” I thought to myself as Mandy Patinkin’s character, Inigo Montoya, almost compelled me to shout out, “You killed my father, prepare to die!”

As I looked around the waiting room, I noticed several others also nervously waiting. There was an older gentleman who had on ‘Farmer John’ overalls without any shirt underneath, sporting a mass of hair. I tried to imagine him driving his Volvo to the farm to milk the cows when he notices his check engine light is on. Making a snap decision, with no time to run home to change, he drives sixty miles to the nearest Volvo dealership. 

 “Are these cars costly to repair?” I had asked timidly to the valet who grabbed my keys and was preparing to take my car around back.  I remembered he hesitated for a moment, then turned and said “Oh, yeah!” with a smile and smug voice and then just sort of chuckled as my car disappeared around the corner.

Everyone seated with me, in the waiting area, were all trying their hardest to keep it together. I imagined what the service writers and mechanics were plotting behind closed doors. Have you ever taken notice that every single service writer has the title of assistant manager on the nameplate of his kiosk? 

Bored, you Google the part they said you needed and found they had doubled the actual cost on your estimate? In a panic you want to leave but realize that your car is somewhere in back in a thousand little pieces. Helplessly you stare out the service room window wondering if the ‘new guy’ got your car.

When I was younger and a very zealous Christian, I use to pray for patience. Now that I am older and wiser, I no longer ask God for that particular virtue. However God, in His unfathomable wisdom, has decided that He needs to bombard me with situations that will aid me in my developing more patience.

You know those days when all the traffic lights turn green just as you approach, you find five dollars on the ground or you receive a letter, with a check, from the IRS admitting they made a mistake on last year’s filing? Unfortunately, for me lately, life has been filled with long waits at red lights, endless searches for parking spaces downtown and long waits for procedures that involve a lot of unwanted poking and prodding in some very personal areas.

Several weeks ago my doctor told me I needed an MRI of my brain. Being a cynic I casually mentioned, “I hope they find something,” to which he immediately looked at me puzzled. “Something filling the empty space between my ears,” I clarified. He smiled, shook my hand, and I left to go find my car. When I finally remembered where I had parked, I noticed the parking meter expired and the meter maid just finishing up placing a ticket under my windshield wiper. 

Two days later I found myself sitting in another waiting room watching a totally different group of people waiting. Their ages ranged from small children to older adults like me. Medical waiting rooms are much more sullen and quiet than car dealerships. Here they charge even larger sums of money for their services so you had better have health insurance or you will soon find yourself homeless. Then they insist on making you fill out a plethora of paperwork and sign papers that state, “although the test I’m about to take is safe there is always the possibility I could die.”

All this is to say that God is teaching me patience. So as I age, God is reminding me that my life has always been in His hands and that He is still in control. He also wants me to change the way I treat the people He puts in my life. He especially wants me to be kind to elderly ladies at car dealerships. 

“Life is change,” said the elderly woman who sat across from me at the Volvo dealership. “That’s what you can count on! Life will not remain the same but is always changing.”  

So you better have patience. 

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    the whole thing with no need side effect
    , folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.

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