As my car approaches the flag person standing in the sun, and I see the bulldozers working, my blood pressure begins to climb. A stab of pain runs down my back when I step on the brake and the cars line up behind me. I hate waiting in line.
“Come on, come on,” I mutter, “Time’s a wasting.”
Last week I read an article about lost moments. It stated that in our life time we will spend a total of five years waiting in line. Five years give us a wealth of opportunity for angry words and deep sighs. Five years is a long time to rail at slow cashiers, and complain about the bank clerks that are off having lunch, or blame ourselves for picking the wrong line. In our life time, we have five years to deepen the pathways of frustration and impatience in our brain. Just think we each have five years to add to the world’s pool of hostility. Is that truly what we want to do with our lives?
We hunch our shoulders in disgust and reply, “No, of course not, but what else can we do? We have no control over our time spent in line.”
I offer you this alternative. The next time you are in line take control of your thinking. Give your resentment, your worry about being late, your frustration to God. Then say thank you for this unexpected “time between”. Look at the people and the world around you. What beauty is there to see? Offer a prayer of concern for the bank clerk who is working under the stress of so many people waiting. Pick a person in the line and ask for a special blessing just for them. Still in line? Pray for peace in the world. Keep your thoughts focused on goodness and compassion. It is your choice. You can use this “time between” to add to the love and joy in this world, or the anger and resentment. Remember, the “time between” is important.
“Whatever happens conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians:1:27