Ah, the frustrations of life! Sometimes it’s the relatively little things that ruffle our feathers. And sometimes it’s our reaction to those little things that makes a difference to those around us.
I was talking with a dear friend of mine not long ago. She had just spent the whole day at a Toyota dealership waiting for them to handle a list of recall items. That sort of task always seems to take more time that we plan, and dealership lobbies are never quite as comfortable as we hope. But what must be done must be done, and our Lord tells us to rejoice in the day that he has made.
My friend waited patiently for hours. The process drew out beyond the end of the day, in fact, and she had to return the following morning. At that point, I fear my good witness would have waned. Not so with my new role model. She cheerfully returned the next day. To her astonishment she was greeted with these words, “Welcome back. You’re nearly famous here, you know. Everyone knows your name, and we were all talking about you yesterday. We wish all our customers would be as patient and kind as you.” (And then they proceeded to take care of an extra repair at no charge.)
My friend wondered later if she should have used the opportunity to say, “Well, you see, I’m a Christian and…” I think the Holy Spirit would have prompted her to say those words if the time had been right.
The sad truth, of course, is that just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we always exhibit stellar patience. The glad truth, though, is that the people working at that dealership saw a difference. I’ll bet some of them even figured out the source of her pervasive joy and kindness.
Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times…and when necessary, use words.” When was the last time any of us preached silently at a car dealership, or in a long line at a crowded store, or … well, you get the picture.
May we rejoice in each hour that God gives us, and may others see Christ in us every day!