Sunday, September 17, 2006

Proud? Moi?

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." ... Proverbs 16:10

Years ago I was taught that impatience is a form of pride.

I was shocked. Because, well, I was always impatient.

At the supermarket I was impatient and (silently) huffy if people in the aisles just stood there for, like, a lifetime searching for a certain box of cereal or reading the ingredient list on spaghetti sauce --and blocking my view of the items I needed. I felt annoyed that I had to wait for all these slowpokes who seemingly descended upon the store simultaneously, as though in cahoots to bother me.

What's wrong with that? Basically, that kind of thinking is really saying, "*I* shouldn't have to put up with this! *I* shouldn't have to wait my turn. And it's totally disregarding just how many times *I've* spent a lifetime searching for stuff in store aisles and reading labels all squinty-eyed. And well, many has been the time...

At the check-out counter--the same thing. All those long lines made me roll my eyes. Why didn't these people do their shopping earlier? Or later? And if my line had a slow store clerk, there was more rolling of the eyes and being frustrated that *I* had to wait because of someone else's ineptitude.

Well, good gracious... Why couldn't *I* have done my shopping earlier (or later)? Why, instead, would I expect the whole world to arrange its schedule around me? And by judging a clerk as slow, what I'm really, deep-down thinking is--"If *I* was doing your job, I could do it much faster and more efficiently than you."

And, well, ha! I have never, ever trained to be a store clerk, I am machine-of-any-type-challenged, my back hurts when I stand too long, I have this hearing problem when there's background noise (I'd be, like, eh? eh?), and I would--most assuredly--be fired my first day. Count on it.

Humbling, that is. All of it.

Of course there are many more examples of what appears as something else in Life, but is really just garden variety pride. Like, when I'm in traffic and I'm thinking my whole town is made-up of horrible drivers and why, if they're in such a hurry, couldn't they be more organized and leave their homes sooner so they didn't have to drive like maniacs?

But it comes to me--how many times have *I* made driving mistakes, only to have been spared an accident by the grace of God? (Let's just say a few...). And why wasn't *I* more organized so that *I* could have left the house earlier and avoided the busiest time of the afternoon?

And on and on it goes, stretching probably outward to the moon...

Something happened when I (finally) allowed God to point out this kind of stuff to me. I began realizing I wasn't so 'together' after all. And then I started having more patience with others. And then I began enjoying Life more.

Life is sweeter, better, when you stop believing your way is the only way and you give others the break you wish they'd give you.

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