Beep, Beep – Patience Please

Car changing lanesI have decided that I am too nice a guy (more in a minute). And that there are a lot of people who are impatient in the world. On at least three ocassions in the last couple of weeks people have honked at me while I was driving.  The first one might have been a little earned, I admit. I was trying to make a left turn onto a busy road (for Sheltonites, it was where Olympic Highway N and 13th meet). There was a small gap in traffic and I made my move. The guy coming up the hill was traveling maybe 10 over and needed to let up a little on the gas peddle. He must have been a surgeon headed for emergency surgery because instead of letting up on the gas (no brake needed) he chose to hit his horn button. Really, he was in that big a hurry. No cars were injured in the making of that turn.

  The next time was in Olympia. I was going to the hospital for a visit. I got off the freeway, made the right turn and needed to get over to the left to turn on Lilly. This time it was a plumber, headed to a massive sewage leak that must have been threatening thousands. He wanted to close up the hole I was trying to get in, and I was simply trying to get over. I would have waited until he went by, but he was unsure and didn't actually pass. So as the need approached urgent, I moved over, and again he honked. Then when I got in the turn lane, he went past on the right, with a most welcoming glare.

Car iconThe last time was in Hillsbrough, OR. This lady (I use the term in the most general way) and I were traveling down the road. This time I think she must have been late picking up her kids from school (that is the only explanation I could come up with) and was right on my bumper. I signalled a right turn into the Winco parking lot, slowed and made my right turn. Evidently, I slowed more than she felt was necessary. As I cleared the roadway and she veered left around me, she let me know via the horn her displeasure. Again, really!

Over the last few years I have developed some driving principles. I try to make room for people who need to move over, not close up to cut them off. I will slow to let faster traffic go by before changing lanes. I let people in or cross and slow to let them have time and space to do so. In short, not being a surgeon, plumber, or mother who are needed to get somewhere, I try to drive patiently.

Patience Road SignIn fact, I am working on patience in many areas, all areas of my life. There are several reasons for this. The first reason for this challenge is a Biblical one. Paul lists patience and a quality of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4. In fact, it is the first thing listed. In his Galatians 5:22-23 listing of the fruit of the Spirit it is number 4. Patience is a quality of God, and of his Son. Being patient, and learning to do so, is being Godly.

Another reason for patience is more personal. I figure I have lost maybe five minutes of my life waiting patiently for things instead of pushing foward. And I think I have avoided many an accident and actually saved myself time, money, and frustration by being patient in this life.

I know this, impatience is not good for our health. Stress is a killer. And patience is a stress-killer. There was a reason Paul saw love and patience connected. There is a reason why the Spirit produces patience as He works in our lives.

So keep honking if you must. If you are behind me, you might have to wait for a second or two while I slow down and let people in. I plan on living my life and taking my faith journey patiently.