Sunday, May 26, 2013

What Grade Did You Get For Standing In Line?

You've spent hundreds of hours of your life waiting in lines, right? 

I thought so. We all have. Hundreds. Of. Hours.

But how did we handle those hours? If God gave grades to us while we stood in line, what would your grade be? An A? A C+? An F- ?

Anything we spend hundreds of hours doing, matters

When we approach a line do we become an eye-roller? A sigh-er? A complaining, worried-I'll-be-late, sorry-I-didn't-get-out-of-the-house-earlier, Life-is-so-unfair and where-did-all-these-people-come-from-anyway(!?) grouch?

Or do we step into a line and think, "Ahh... Good! Some quiet downtime in which to think delightful, grateful thoughts."? 

Do we begin a we're-all-in-this-together conversation with the person in front of us (and view her as a potential new friend)?

Do we pull a tablet and pen from our purse and write down To Do lists or ideas for our next blog post or conversation? 

Do we stand there and consciously let every bit of tension drain from our shoulders down to the floor while picturing our self laying beside our favorite lake or mountain or backyard fountain? 

Do we take out the book we're carrying and read a few more pages, transporting ourselves to a whole other era? 

Do we look around at the annoyed faces of our fellow line waiters and begin praying they'll come to know Jesus? 

Do we face the person beside us to see if they perhaps could use an encouraging word?

Oh, the potential value of lines!

This may sound wildly controversial, but this is how I feel: The way we wait in lines shows what's going on deep inside our hearts. 

... Whether we live on the surface or from way down, deep. Whether we're learning lessons God is aching to teach us, growing more patient, or whether we're learning to act like people who haven't even met Him yet. Whether we truly love humanity or have a long, l-o-n-g way to go.

Waiting in line. It's a fact of Life and it's an amazing opportunity to shine that Bright Light from the inside, out.


Have we accepted that lines are just a part of Life or do we (er, pridefully) believe, "*I* shouldn't have to wait like this!"?


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."   ... Galatians 5:22,23


Robin in New Jersey said...

I have seen the worst come out in people while they are waiting in line where I work. Yesterday was a very busy day and people were waiting in line to get their fabric cut. I always treat each customer with my undivided attention when it is finally their turn. A lady in line, was so angry, she stormed out, very loudly, saying it was taking too long. I felt bad for her daughter who she literally dragged out of the store. The contrast would be a man I was waiting on with 10 bolts of fabric and a very unhappy 3 year old boy. That man was so patient waiting for fabric to be cut allowing his wife to shop around. Even though his son was not happy, that man was a saint.(I believe his son was disabled.) It really annoys me though when I am waiting on someone and another customer comes up and interrupts with, "I just have a quick question." It happened yesterday while I was right in the middle of helping a customer figure out how much fabric she needed. We really needed at least 2 more people working, but corporate says no.

Debra said...

Hi Robin! Thanks for sharing your stories. It's great that that man waited so patiently! Maybe God has already worked on him with this thing about waiting in line. :)

I like what Joyce Meyer says about frustration--that it's trying to do something we can do nothing about. Perhaps if you'll calmly remember that you can do nothing about changing corporate's policies, you can then just relax, find ways to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible and keep things light-hearted.

If people choose to freak-out in a line, then it's not any one else's fault (not even corporate's!), but rather, their own lack of reality and patience. Your job is to remain calm, pleasant and shine Jesus' light.... so please don't let anyone else take that away, nor play the blame game. Life is too short and Jesus gives us ways to make each day amazing. (Yay!) :) Blessings, Debra

Pat said...

I usually use that time to look for the yummiest candy bar in the rack they place near you while you are waiting! LOL!

Debra said...

Pat--that's good, too! :) And if I'm close enough to a decorating magazine, I'll read one of those. That also makes waiting pleasant.

Hmmm.... But Robin works the fabric counter at JoAnn's and at ours, here, there are no magazines or candy near there. Perhaps they could place magazines, books and candy near her cutting counter? I think that might give people something else to do while they wait.(Pretty smart, huh?) Thanks for commenting... Debra