Lin and I were on our way to our regular Friday morning McDs breakfast when our normal and the easiest path to McDs was blocked by some traffic cones. The parking lot for the offices and retail establishments just east of McDs was barricaded for a resurfacing project. When I realized that we were not going to be able to cut through that lot like we normally do, I turned around, went through another lot, and proceeded to McDs.
A lady driving a mini-van was behind us. Her morning was also interrupted by the construction project. She motioned to the worker-guy showing him that she needed to get through to McDs. He did not move the construction cones for her. She honked her horn and waved some more. That got our attention, but he did not move the cones. She eventually did what we did and found a way to McDs.
When she got out of her van at McDs she proceeded to the lot next door to confront the worker-guy. By now there were a couple of skid-steers unloaded and a large dump truck full of hot asphalt waiting to unload. I wish I could have heard the conversation. Plainly she told him that he had unreasonably ruined her morning. I expect that he told her: 1. That she had no “right” to drive through that private lot. 2. That if he did not get that lot done in a timely fashion both his boss and the owners of the lot would be very unhappy with him. 3. That her morning coffee was not his problem. Like I said, I did not hear the conversation, but I think it might have been a fun one to hear.
As Lin and I had our coffee and muffins, we talked about how often we are just like the lady. We get upset when our normal routine is interrupted. We are frustrated when our high expectations are not met. We are angry with those who do not cooperate with our agenda. We moan about aches or imperfections in our body. In short, our day is ruined by people and life’s circumstances.
I believe we – Americans, my culture – are becoming more impatient. Technology and systems efficiency have made our life one of conveniences. We get upset if our battery is low on our phone or our computer shuts down or our water is not soft. We don’t like humidity or gluten or ultra-violet light. We change stores if our favorite product is not stocked. We get angry if a storm shuts down our TV during our favorite program. And Lord help the airline that cancels our flight because of whatever-they-dream-up as a good reason.
Because we have received salvation, Christians are to be full of grace and mercy. Forgiveness and kindness are to identify us. When our lives are interrupted by people or circumstances, mature Christians are patient. Let me say this again for my benefit. Mature Christians are patient people. It is only babies who cry when they are hungry or not getting the attention they want.
Lady, I hope the rest of your day went better. Worker-guy, thanks for enduring those who don’t understand your problems. God, help me to exude mercy and grace all over the place.