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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Gentle Reminders Ignored
By LaNaye Perkins


Janet pushes her cart through the crowded store. It takes all her self control to not run over the woman who has the isle blocked while talking on her cell phone. In a burst of ire, she coughs loudly and glares at the woman until she moves to the side so Janet can pass. She completely misses the sadness in the woman’s apology, or that the call had obviously been troubling to the woman.

Man, people are so rude these days. Everyone acts like the world just revolves around them! Don‘t these people realize that I have things to do too?

It seemed like an eternity before she finally gathered all the items on her list. Throughout the store, she is blocked time after time by people she perceives are deliberately being rude. As she finally checks the last item off her list, she heads toward the checkout lanes. She felt as if luck had finally smiled on her, when she noticed the woman at the number 12 checkout lane had just emptied her cart and was ready to leave. Speeding up, she made a bee line for the cashier.

“Sorry deary, this lane’s mine!” A little old lady crabbed at her and slipped an over burdened cart ahead of her before she had a chance to react.

Fuming, she scanned the other checkout lanes and saw only one person in line a few lanes down. Whipping her cart down and into line, she smiled smugly to herself. That is, until she realized the cashier was in training. He was having a great deal of difficulty learning how to operate his register.

Ten, fifteen, then twenty minutes passed before the young man finally finished ringing up the items for the customer ahead of her. All the while Janet’s blood was boiling. Her inpatients causing her anger to seethe at yet another delay. Her ire is obvious to everyone as she loudly sighs and taps her manicured nails on the handle of her cart.

Oh my God, is there anyone on this planet that is slower?

Fifteen minutes later, Janet stomps away from the register. The cashier’s sincere apology is lost to her ears as she berates him for his incompetence. Beads of sweat cover her face and her breathing is labored as she gives full vent to her anger. She is fuming that she has been pushed behind schedule by so many incompetent people.

It figures that I would end up with the worlds biggest moron as my cashier. I mean really, how do these people survive? Couldn‘t I just get one day in my life when I didn‘t have to deal with such stupid people?

Meanwhile up in heaven the Father looks down, sadly shaking His head. Jesus sits on his right side observing the scene as well.

“She failed again.”

“Yes son, she failed again.” the Father sighed sadly. “I keep hoping she will realize how ungodly her attitude is. I touch her spirit often, but she ignores my gentle reminders. I give her chances to practice patients and kindness every day. I remind her to behave in a way that is pleasing and to make right choices, but to no avail. It saddens me greatly, but I know I will have to chasten her soon if she keeps ignoring me. ”

Back in the parking lot, Janet pushes her cart to the front of her car. She ignores the signs requesting they be placed in the cart returns, and disregards the gentle tug of guilt. She climbs into her car and hurries on to her home. She drives on without a thought given to her actions. Sadly, in her mind it is everyone else who is wrong.

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This article has been read 725 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon08/29/08
You expose hypocrisy like a scalpel. There is almost no need for the second to last paragraph. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
Oh, I know people like this! (And I'll admit to being impatient in the grocery store, too). Good job with the inner voice.

You switched tenses a few times, and note the spelling of "impatience" and "patience".

This is one that I'll remember when I'm tapping my foot in the store. Well done.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/29/08
A very good example of impatience - (note the spelling) and probably hits us all as having been there & done that. Nicely done - just watch your spelling (Patients VS patience) (*.*)!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/31/08
Did you go to the same store I did? This is an excellent reminder of how we need to be sensitive to the needs of others and to show Christ's love through patience in our daily lives.
Arlene Showalter08/31/08
*ouch* I am sure this touches a sensitive cord for a lot of people out there...
Ellen Dodson08/31/08
You do such a great job showing us her impatience and faulty perceptions of others that you don't need to tell us she is misjudging them. Let us see/hear the sadness in the woman's voice and mannerisms in the beginning. This piece is so appropriate and convicting. The ending is important, but it might be a bit overdone in places. Thanks for reminding us what that "small, still voice" that "gentle tug on the heart" is all about. Jesus is such a patient teacher.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/31/08
Great title! It's good to be reminded how God must feel when we willfully ignore Him.
Patricia Turner08/31/08
There's a Don Henley song called "Nobody else in the world but you." which I'm pretty sure he wrote about Dallas traffic. I love the ending and God's comments. Very good writing. And maybe from your misspelling (inpatients) God has it in mind for her to be a nurse?
Lynda Schultz 09/01/08
Ouch! I don't doubt that the Lord has made more than a few similar comments about me. Well done.
Scott Sheets09/02/08
Sad but true commentary on how we can often rebuke others, and forget what we we are like. Nice portrayal of this reality.
Joshua Janoski09/02/08
Ouch! I hate to admit it, but I have taken on this attitude in the past. I think we all have at one time or another.

You gave a good reminder that God tries to use frustrating situations to teach us to be patient, but if we don't listen to Him, then we end up being the ones to miss out and suffer.

If we could all just take a little more time to put ourselves in other people's shoes, then we wouldn't get caught up in this trap.

Great job with this! Thanks for sharing.
Sunny Loomis 09/02/08
Very well done. Check spelling before posting. Good story.
Peter Stone09/30/08
Great job there of convicting impatience--I certainly need more when I'm behind the wheel. Good conclusion too - 'in her mind it is everyone else who is wrong'