That title? It seems the truth of it has gone the way of the dinosaurs, if you take a look around.
Case in point: The checkout line at Super Target on the last day before most of our schools start around here. Oh, and they were short on checkers. Oh, and about half of the lanes were closed due to registers down.
So, I was about in the middle of a shortish line, but all the buggies were heaping, including mine. While I was very ready to get out of there, I wasn’t on a time schedule, and I didn’t have kids whining and pulling on me, either. So, I counted my blessings and settled in, taking a look around at lo, all the other disgruntled shoppers. They ran the gamut of lots of heavy sighing and watch-checking to parents yelling at kids to stop getting into the candy and gum, or else.
But there was one person…one person that set himself above the hundreds of other people in the store. He only had a few items in his cart. Only two of the express lanes were operational, and while they were really backed up, they were moving. But he wasn’t going to wait in those long lines. Instead, he pushed his cart through every other long line to get to the next, trying to find the shortest, all the while displacing other carts and loudly complaining to all those around him about the ridiculous lines. After he’d made his way to the end, he turned around and came back through, disrupting lines again, and cursing every time he stopped.
(Do people not care about cursing around children anymore? It drives me CRAZY. Seriously, don’t start me on this topic.)
Finally, he got back to the express lane and actually tried to butt in line, but was blocked by a dad who apparently had my same stance on cursing around children. Then, just as he got up to the register and put his few items on the belt, the register shut down. He let everyone know about it, and, as if one big team who’d just seen justice served to their opponent, all the rest of the line-waiters laughed, cheered and clapped!
It was a Target spectacle the likes of which I’ve never seen.
The manager came and pulled the guy into the Customer Service bay and checked him out, and not a single person threw a fit that he was getting special attention. Everyone was just thrilled to see him go. People were acting a lot more patient by this point, and a lot more civil. It seemed we all were reminded that, although we live in a get-it-when-you-want-it, microwave instead of slow-cook, high-speed instead of dial-up, society, sometimes things are out of anyone’s control and we have to wait. And sometimes, good things come from it. I actually got to thumb through an entire magazine while I stood there; I can’t tell you the last time I did that. I sent a couple of emails that I’d meant to do the day before and made a to-do list for the office this week. I talked to the guy behind me, who turned out to be a possible contact for our nonprofit.
Patience is a virtue…and a value, when you just accept it and open your eyes to what might be right there for you while you wait. You’ll miss all that if you go off like a crazy person, and people also might clap when you leave, which is just sad.
(Unless, of course, you curse around children, because then I will feel no pity).
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25 ESV
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18 ESV
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4 ESV