Friday, September 14, 2007

patience is a virtue

A man's wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11

My patience, and tolerance to rudeness, was sorely tested yesterday. Here's what happened...

I pulled into the drive-thru line at T*co Bell and noticed an elderly gentleman in a car waiting to get into the line at the point where he was located. The problem was, it wasn't the way the line of cars was going. I don't know how long he had been sitting there, waiting there for someone to let him in. So when I got to that point, I decided to let him go ahead of me. (yah yah, i know, I'm such a nice person).

As the car ahead of me moved and I motioned for this gentleman to go ahead, some punk kid behind me, driving a topless jeep, sped around me and took that place in line - the one in front of me. I was so caught up with what was happening that I sped up thinking I could stop that yellow jeep, but forgetting about the guy who I was going to let go ahead of me.

I was so angry. My heart was thumping loudly in my chest as I calculated what, if anything, I should do. What would you do? I ended up just yelling out my window at him, "hey! that wasn't cool!" The hardest part of this whole situation was that I had to then follow him the rest of the time in line. He never looked in his rear view mirror at me or acknowledged that he heard what I yelled at him. I was seething.

As I sat there, moving one car at a time closer to the speaker and the "can I take your order?," all I could do was to stare at this punk kid, the girl in the passenger seat, and his stupid yellow jeep. He was shirtless and I noticed all of his tattoos. I watched as he and the girl lit up their cigarettes. I read the offensive bumper stickers that cluttered the back of the jeep. I noticed that the boy and the girl hardly said more than a sentence or two to each other. And I couldn't help but notice that they ordered a lot of food.

The long line gave me time to settle down a bit. As I did, all I could do was stare at this kid in front of me and try to figure him out. Why would he do such a thing? Was being rude part of his personality? Did he think nothing of cutting in front of someone in such a bold way? Maybe he was in a big hurry for some reason and felt like he needed to cut down his time in line. Or maybe he and this girl were in a fight and he was so mad that his cut in line was an impulsive decision.

I don't know and I never will. Yes, it was very rude, but there are a lot of rude and unthinking, uncaring people out there. By the time we had both given our orders and were waiting for our time to collect our food, God gave me two messages. The first being; patience is a virtue and love is patient. The other one was; you reap what you sow. I would hate to think what all this punk kid will be reaping if he continues down the path he seemed to be on.

As I write this, I feel like God is giving me one more message; it's not my place to judge. So, I'll leave it at that.

link of the day:


Our Family of Five said...

I would have had a hard time remaining humble in this situation. A weakness of mine. Most likely I would have called the restaurant from my cell phone, asked to speak to the manager, told him what just transpired, and only hope that he would come out and tell the driver that he wouldn't be served unless he removed himself to the back of the line. I've seen them do that in grocery store lines, refuse to serve anyone except the next person in line. Why wouldn't it work for a drive-thru?

Scenes like this are the very reasons I try to pour so much into my boys. Be 'gentlemen' I tell them. My heart would break into a thousand pieces if I ever thought they treated a lady or an older gentleman in such a manner. I'm sorry you had to endure such rudeness. And you are very wise to bring up the sowing and true that is, and how sad. For the guy in the jeep.

Jamey said...

That would have really made me mad. That is one thing I have a hard time with....keeping my mouth shut when I know I probably should but I just can't. Your last paragraph is so true, it's not our place to judge. Sometimes I have to repeat that to myself over and over to get through a situation like that! Especially having to sit behind him in line like that. You did a good job!!!

Melissa said...

Why? WHY do people feel they have the right to act this way? You're right though... it's not our place to judge. Have you ever noticed how HARD that is?? :)

Amber said...

All I have to say is, I am DEFINITELY learning PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE!!!

God Bless,

Momma Roar said...

These are the times when having 3 young children (who repeat EVERYTHING)comes in handy - it forces me to keep my mouth closed...most of the time!

Amber said...

In the end, a good conclusion. I just wish I could live by that!

Hey, do you want to be added to Mile High Mamas' blogroll?

Lynne said...

It's funny that you posted about this.Yesterday as I was pulling into a parking spot at my bank, a young man about 25 yrs old pulled into the same spot, his car facing mine and would not move even though I was already 3/4 of the way in. Never mind that there were plenty of other spaces nearby. So I ended up backing up my Jeep (no,it's not yellow) and pulled into a spot in the next row. And yes, he did go into my bank and I stared at him like a madwoman the entire time he was in there. He looked at me a couple of times but said nothing.
I had forgotten about it until I read your post. Rudeness is so common here in NJ; everyone's always in a big hurry and I find that I'm starting to get that way also. I need to tape those words "Patience is a virtue and love is patient" onto my dashboard.

melody is slurping life said...

Those types of situations truly test my patience. I'm afraid that too often I am not so virtuous. Rudeness is such a peeve of mine, and I work really hard to teach the path of politeness and thinking of others to my boys. I teach myself, too, constantly.

Penless Thoughts said...

Don't let the small stuff throw you.

~Ginger said...

I rarely get ruffled by stuff like this because I figure in the long run they are the real losers.

Just today I came to a four way stop and I thought it was my turn to go. The car across from me started to go through the intersection. I was turning and he almost hit me. He was speeding up on purpose. I couldn't believe it. It was like he was angry that I turned in front of him.

Life is just too short. Was it really such a big deal to wait for one car to turn? I just shook my head and wondered what his deal was just like you did.

It caused my heart to desire to pray for the anger in this persons heart...he has issues far deeper than a simple stop sign.

Short Stop said...

Oh, I wish I could let things like this just go, but I seethe with anger when things like this happen. I just keep thinking, "Why?", "Why was it necessary to do that?" and when I can't seem to come up with an reasonable answer, I just get even more angry.

I am so thankful that God is more patient with me than I am with others.

Lori said...

Those are all great messages / things you were thinking.

Patience is a virtue. Love is patient.
You reap what you sow.
Who are we to judge

I try to think those same things when I'm impatient or judging someone. I always say that verse in my is patient, love is kind....etc
Who are we to judge. Only God can judge.

MightyMom said...

here's an old post you might enjoy

Pam in Colorado said...

Wow, tough lessons! Makes you want to crawl into the head of the boy - the girl for that matter, too. What are their lives like? What will they be like a year from now? 10?
Hopefully he learns to temper his life and treat others with more respect.

I have to wonder... did the old man ever get his food?? ;)