“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12 (New International Version)
I was supposed to meet someone at 8:45 a.m. recently. Now, anyone of my friends will know to tell me that the time I need to arrive is ten minutes before they actually want me to be there. I have a penchant for being “fashionably late.” Well, the day I am talking about was one I could not afford to be late for. However, after getting out the door ten minutes later than I wanted to and having to drop off my husband for a golf game eight minutes in the other direction (we were on vacation with only one car), I realized with dismay that I was going to be a full fifteen minutes late. As I made the final turn on the road to my destination, I groaned audibly at a man on a bicycle with one foot on one pedal and the other foot pushing off the pavement as he pointed the bike in the direction I needed to go. He was holding something in one hand. The curb made the road narrow and impossible to pass him. Besides, there was a car in front of me, so I did not have the choice to try to navigate my way around him.
Instead of keeping to one side, he started weaving the bike into the middle of the road and then back to the side of it. The frustration in me started to rise as I muttered, “Can’t you stay on one side of the road?” With my destination parking space in the corner of my eye, I had to wait until he passed by to pull in. Now all flustered, I saw the person who was meeting me outside the building. I’m sure she thought I had forgotten. She graciously said hello and took me inside without saying a word about my tardiness.
I was deep in conversation with someone in the building when the gentleman on the bike came into my view. Everyone in the building was calling him by name and saying hello. He cheerily said hello back. I took a good look at him as his eyes met mine.
“Hello, ma’am! I think it is going to be hot today. Find yourself a good pool and stay there! Happy Father’s Day soon to you!”
I had felt like telling him to remember that streets were for vehicles, not meandering bikes that hogged up the road, when the light suddenly went on in my head. His unkempt hair, childish smile, and rumpled clothes let me see his pure, sweet soul unencumbered by the worry of hurriedness. Although close to my age, his smiling face let me realize that his soul was far younger. He was completely oblivious to worry; his mission was to spread cheer in a place that looked forward to his cheery voice reminding them of the simple, good things in life. I felt instantly ashamed and surprised at the unbidden tears swimming in my eyes.
What am I in such a hurry over? I become so much the pauper when I don’t have this man’s attitude. When my schedule takes priority over people. When getting to my destination robs me of the joys of the journey along the way. When anger seethes in the wait instead of thankfulness that I have purpose in my life. I need a paradigm shift. This life is so fleeting. I cannot afford to be in a hurry.
Jesus, thank You for this reminder. You are all about the journey. It’s the journey that teaches me patience, joy, and thankfulness, not the destination. Forgive my rushing to and fro that does not allow me to speak kindness to someone and makes me self-absorbed. Give me unfettered joy today and the desire to share that with those I meet on the road.