By nature, I am not a patient person. It may be the generation in which I was raised, taught to need instant gratification. If we are forced to wait longer than stated for what we desire, we are then agitated, annoyed. It is a learned behavior, and one that I unfortunately see come in to play far too often for many others, who are my age and older.
Today we had an appointment scheduled, one set the week prior to repair one of our appliances. After a particularly demanding year, draining both mentally and physically, I was finally hopeful, looking forward to the promise of what the new year had to offer.
Then, on the final day of 2015, our washing machine stopped working.
In the grand scheme of life, with others suffering with such problems as poverty, incurable illness and other major life situations, my broken washer was minor.
But friends, when you expect to have things done, and then, for whatever reason, there is a change in plan, it’s possible to become a little annoyed..a bit agitated. It’s just human nature.
However, after the year I had,in 2015, I saw the true actions of many people. During one of the most trying times in my life, both spiritually and physically, I was confronted head one with who was genuine and who, unfortunately, was not. I saw that when I needed others the most, they were often the first to be difficult to locate, the ones who gave up on me because I was flawed.
Instead of getting annoyed as the time stated to us passed, and minutes turned in to hours, I decided to call, to check on the status of our appointment, and make sure that everything was okay. The business that we were going to be using is owned by one person, with one other woman who works for him. Together this team accomplishes the calls that they are dispatched on, repairing appliances and relying on one another.
When he answered, I could immediately tell that his voice was stressed. I relayed my information..that I had scheduled an appointment. My name, and our situation. He sighed heavily. But it wasn’t a sigh of annoyance, or frustration with me. It was a sigh of the weary. He then went on to explain that the reason for his delay was that he was currently sitting in the doctor’s office with his daughter, who was diagnosed with an illness that would require prescription treatment. He wasn’t certain how long he would be.
In that moment, it could have been incredibly easy to get upset. I could have demanded a reschedule, or cancelled my appointment and selected another company. Instead, I understood. I have children. Life with children is not predictable. When your child is sick, your first priority is to care for them. All other things come after. I understood that, because I am a mom. I told him that he could take his time. If he wanted to come tomorrow, after things were settled, I would be here. There was no rush.
Friends, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day aspects of life that we forget others have lives to lead too. Life isn’t perfect by any means. It is messy. It is how we handle ourselves when situations outside of our control arise that is what truly matters.
I do not know this man’s personal life, and I did not ask. It is possible that he was the only one available to take his child to the doctor. He may have a significant other, but they may have been unable to get away, and for that reason, he was the one to be there on this day.
On this day, when I offered for our repair man to come back tomorrow, I could hear the audible sigh of relief in his voice, and the stress leave his body as he was able to focus on his daughter first. As a parent, I wanted to give him that gift.
I ask, that if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, when you find yourself getting annoyed, or frustrated that things did not happen exactly as you planned them, that you take a step back to evaluate the situation.
Friends, always live life with a grateful and graceful heart. You never know who else may benefit from your understanding.