While I was in the hospital I learned of an area in my character that I maybe need to work on a little (or a lot).
When it comes to dealing with people I am a patient guy. I am pretty mellow, laid back it does take a lot to ruffle my feathers.
I do realize or it came to my attention that there is an area where I do lack in the patience department. That is standing in a line waiting my turn and I will avoid it if I can. Like, if say we go out to eat, we get to the restaurant and there is a line up. If I have options, I would prefer to just go somewhere else rather than stand in line waiting my turn. In that way I am impatient when I do have an alternative ie. another restaurant and there are certainly enough of those around. Now in a grocery store or something like that it is some how different. Maybe it is I have already made my choices and have them in my cart already. If there is a line at the check out, well there is nothing I can do about it, so I will wait my turn. It is like well I am here, there is nothing I can do about it so no sense getting upset and I don’t ANYMORE. but it hasn’t always been that way.
I look back over the years and just shake my head remembering some of the times I did get upset over the inconvenience of being forced to stand in line. It was almost like I thought my time was more valuable or important than anyone elses. Thoughts like “what is wrong with this store, why don’t they have enough cashiers on duty” would race through my head. “How inconvenient is this having to stand in line wasting my time like this.” OR, “geesh would you look at that person up in the line, taking way more time than necessary, using all those coupons and counting pennies”. “How damn inconsiderate of these people taking so much time making me stand in line wasting my time like this”. Now a real big one was if someone tried to get in front of me in line, oh I would have nothing to do with that.
Some how through such a gradual process that I didn’t even realize it was happening,my thinking changed. Now if I am standing in line and I see unmanned check outs. I simply think, “Oh well, I guess some are on coffee break or a lunch break, they are entitled to that.” If someone butts in front of me in a line up, I just let them in thinking: “they must have somewhere really important to get to and are in a hurry, I hope you make it to where ever it is you are going on time.”
I thought I was doing pretty well in this area. I have come to realize that for me at least, there is always room for me to grow as a person. This is embarrassing to even admit to. First off I am one of those people that really want/need their morning coffee.
Now picture this, I am scheduled for the heart procedure (angiogram) at 7:45am. Prior to the procedure you must fast, nothing to eat or drink. Now it must have been about 8:15 when they came to get me from the ward. I get to the pre-op area and am told there will be about a half hour wait. They are busy putting in IVs and things so the time goes by quickly. As “my” time approaches I am told an emergency has come in and I am being bumped and it will be at least another hour. Huh, well OK, there is certainly nothing I can do about it so I just patiently lay there waiting but a cup of coffee would sure be good right now.
Then geesh, it happened a second time, I am bumped again for another emergency. I take comfort from the fact that obviously they don’t consider me and my heart to be an emergency or I wouldn’t be getting bumped like this. But, man oh man, would a cup of coffee taste good right now.
It gets to the point I know I am about 1/2 hour away from my time. They come and tell me, yup, I am about 1/2 hour away, BUT an emergency is coming in and is also about 1/2 hour away. If they finish the procedure they are currently working on before the ambulance arrives I will be taken in. If the emergency arrives first that person will be taken in.
Now this is the embarrassing part. I said a little prayer asking our Heavenly Father to get me in next. It was a real poor me thing along the lines of, I have already been here waiting for over 3 hours, 2 other people have already taken my place in line.I think I have been patient enough here and I really need my morning coffee. Now I had no sooner said this ridiculous little prayer and the answer hit, like no other ever has.
My thinking changed in a flash. The only thought I suddenly had in my head was, gee, I wonder who should go first. Someone coming in requiring immediate emergency care or Bill because he is tired of waiting and wants his coffee. Now is that embarrassing to admit. My prayer suddenly changed asking that the emergency get there first, It then change again asking simply the God’s will be done and so it was. I was prepared to wait. The emergency arrived with about 5 minutes to spare and they decided to bump me to the next day.
Now my little coffee example I admit is a pretty trivial thing to get excited about. But if you think of it aren’t really most things in our daily lives. I ask anyone that may read this, how often do your consider your time more valuable than anyone elses? How often do you let a really meaninglyless little wants (my coffee as an example) take president over the needs wants of others?