The reverend wanted to guest post this week because of our trip to Canada.
Since the reverend is our chauffer this week, I of course would LOVE for him to guest post… 😀
I learned something about myself: I have no patience.
We were set to leave for Canada on a missions trip at 12:30 PM sharp, on Friday, July 15, 2011. For Ginger and I to make it to the church on time, we needed to leave our home at 12:20 PM. Just to be safe, we left for the church forty-five minutes early; I wanted to be on time, no exceptions.
When we arrived at the church, I backed the van up to the trailer, hooked up the lights and tested them. Nothing. I rechecked everything. Nothing. It was getting hot and I started to sweat. I don’t like to sweat.
Shortly there after, multiple men came to try and help. They brought tools and electrical testers, but we learned nothing. By the time we tried all the options, we were thirty minutes behind. I was not a happy camper.
I finally called the local mechanic shop and they informed me that they could get us in immediately; they understood the urgency of our situation and were willing to help. I took the rest of the missions team to my house and then made my way back to the shop for repairs.
The young girl running the cash register said to me, “Oh, I’m sorry. The mechanics are really busy today. I was wrong. They can’t help you until tomorrow.” What!? Are you kidding me? You said that you could get me right in!? I politely responded by saying, “Thanks, it’s no problem.” It was a problem. She made me even more late. Plan B.
We went to a trailer sales establishment next, and the man there was at least somewhat helpful. He couldn’t fix the problem, but he knew who could. Sadly, his suggestion was was 25 minutes away and in the opposite direction of where we needed to go. After making our way back to the house to pick up the rest of the group, we drove into Springfield to the U-Haul Store. By that time, it was almost 2:00 PM. At that point, my blood was boiling. We were sooooooo late.
At U-Haul, they were very knowledgable. They young kid knew his stuff. At least I thought he did. First, he told me that my vehicle lights were OK. Then, he told me that something was wrong with my wiring. Next, he hypothesized that my trailer needed gutted or rewired (a job that would take three hours). Finally, he admitted that the problem was beyond his expertise and he recommended that we go to another establishment. Twenty minutes away. On the opposite side of town.
Sure! Why not? I love being late. It’s my favorite.
We arrived at the fourth business. They were known as “trailer experts.” Sure. Riiiiiiiight. I’ve heard that before. At first, he thought he could fix it in the parking lot. Hallelujah! Some good news. After a mess of wires and tools were brought out from the shop, he gave his verdict: the problem was with my van. I needed a new thing-a-ma-jig. Surprisingly, they had the thing-a-ma-jig. But wait. I also needed two other expensive do-hickies. Of course! Ministers are made of money. How’s that verse go again, “The cattle on a thousand hills belong to associate ministers” (Newingham 3:16).
As they installed all of my new “toys,” I sat in the waiting room fuming. Their cute little soda machine they had in the room to distract customers wasn’t cute at all. It was stupid. And so was the cute stupid little snack machine.
We were already three hours late. This meant that we would be checking into our hotel at 10:30 PM. I was disgusted. We should have been into Michigan by that time, but we were only 30 minutes from my house. Unacceptable.
Then, something hit me, “Chance, why are you so upset? Why does that clock control you? What difference does it make if you didn’t leave on time? Who says you’re late? I don’t think you’re late. Why not just enjoy the time you have? Why not be thankful for what you do have? Relax. Loosen up. Enjoy yourself.”
Five minutes later the vehicle was done. When I tried to pay, I was shocked. The owner of the business had heard of our troubles from one of our members, and he deeply discounted our bill. We ended up only having to pay for one-third of the bill, if that. Praise God.
I learned how to be patient on that day. My plans may not always go as planned, but that doesn’t matter. My God is good and no matter how schedules change, I must honor Him.
PS – Later that night, we encountered massive construction areas and long waits, but believe it or not, I enjoyed them. Why? I got to know some of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I initially would have claimed all this as a burden, when in reality, it was a blessing.