TERRE HAUTE —
I confess. Sometimes I get pretty annoyed with other people. Especially when they don’t do things just as I would have them done.
Last week, while driving home from visiting my grandchildren, I was in the left lane about to pass a semitrailer that was not moseying along as quickly as I was. Suddenly, he pulled out right in front of me. I had to jam on the brakes to keep from becoming intimately acquainted with his mud flaps. I was annoyed. But when it took several miles and about 15 minutes for this not-quite-fast-enough semi to pass five other semis, I was really annoyed.
I am annoyed when I try to return an item at the customer service desk and find that the employees are more interested in giving service to their conversations with one another about their supervisor or some other work-related topic than they are in giving service to me. Once, I patiently waited for two women to finish discussing their recent surgeries. Finally, I sarcastically said, “I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation, but I need some help.” I became further annoyed that they were annoyed when I asked them to do their jobs.
I am annoyed when I have to wait at the doctor’s office, when my cookies are cold and my milk is warm. And I am really, really annoyed when people tell me I shouldn’t let these things annoy me.
We are met with long lines, red lights, slow cashiers and drivers who don’t drive to suit us every day of the week. What can we do about these things that annoy us?
Nothing! Does that annoy you as much as it annoys me?
Perhaps we can find the solution in 1st Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray continually.”
What I should have done when that semi hampered my speedy trip home was pray for him. It must be difficult to be away from home so much. I’ve heard that pornography is rampant among truck drivers, and I should have been praying for the driver to be victorious over the temptations surrounding him, praying for his family to benefit from his work and sacrifice, and asking God to keep him safe and healthy.
What I should have done when the women were discussing their health concerns was to pray for them. I should have asked God to restore their health and peace of mind.
When I am waiting at the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store, I am surrounded by people who need someone to pray for them. The doctor needs wisdom to know how to treat his/her patients. The people in the waiting room need someone to pray that their fears will lessen and their health problems can be treated easily. The tired cashier at the grocery store needs someone to pray, asking God to send her patience in dealing with irrational bosses and complaining customers like me.
Pray continually. We need the practice, and the people around us need the prayers.
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.