“Love is patient and kind.” – I Corinthians 13:4
After a long couple of days away on a business trip, I was ready to get home…but home was a four-hour drive, and I had to stop and get gas in my car, making it even longer.
When I arrived at the gas station, it was full of cars. I pulled in behind a white station wagon, where an elderly woman was pumping gas. She was with a teenage girl, who was walking back to the car holding a few dollars in her hand, so I assumed she had just paid. Great, I thought. This shouldn’t take long.
The minutes crept on…five…ten…fifteen. As I grew impatient, waiting for her to finish pumping gas, the woman grew harsh with her granddaughter, who was attempting to clean the car windows. I watched as they went round and round, the woman alternating between holding the nozzle and grabbing the squeegee from the girl, yelling that she was doing it wrong.
Tempted to press on the horn to get things moving along, I knew I would only make a tense situation worse. Love is patient and kind, I reminded myself.
So often, we take that old woman’s view when we deal with others. We think, “Why don’t they get it? Don’t they know they’re doing it all wrong?” Yet, we expect God to be patient with us when we are the ones who are slow to listen, and even slower to obey.
Today, I will be committed to giving others the same kind of patience and kindness God has given me. How about you?