Inconvenience or Opportunity?

Kids on skateboards reminded me, love is patient


 They were on skateboards…

little guys…two of them

one was maybe 8 and the other looked to be about 6 years old.

It looked like they were mostly talking…

but it was where they choose to have their conversation that annoyed me…

They were jawing right in the middle of the road.

I was in a hurry!

(Aren’t we all!)

Except those little boys…even after they saw me…they shifted into

s-l-o-oh-w  m-o-oh-t-i-o-n!Kids on skateboards reminded me, love is patient

Ahhh!  I growled.

They finished their conversation. Finally!

One boy turned one way and the other turned the other way, criss-crossing in front of my car. With one foot on a skate board and the other on the ground they sluggardly,

like turtles…

lumbered across the road.

Kids on skateboards reminded me, love is patient

Did I tell you I was in a hurry?

I was annoyed as I watched them dawdle to safety.

Annoyed?Kids on skateboards reminded me, love is patient

Did I say annoyed? That’s a polite word for the selfish feeling that instantly overwhelmed me.

The road is for cars, not a playground for children. I had my rights!

The least they could do was hurry out of my way!

 

Hold everything. I didn’t like that feeling.

I couldn’t afford to excuse my bad attitude or feed it.

It reminded me that I’m not as loving as I think I am.

Really? Am I so busy that I don’t have time for a couple little kids to crawl….OK! OK!…to move out of the road?

I caught myself just before I allowed a complaint to escape my lips.

I realized that just because I felt like I was entitled to hurry down this road to my destination, it didn’t excuse my impatience. I needed to dial back my sense of entitlement.

Funny how easy it is to recognize that entitlement issue in others and fail to see it in yourself.

 

It’s in the Bible!

It’s in moments like that one that I wish 1 Corinthians 13:4a wasn’t in the Bible. “Love is patient.”

Love is patient!

Love is patient

How could three little words be so hard to live out.  Ahhhh!

I want to love well. And loving well…well, that means I have to live it out even when it isn’t convenient.

I repented.

I didn’t act on my frustration, but my attitude was wrong. I don’t want yucky attitudes to get a foothold in my life, so I deal with things quickly.

I don’t want to be cross, so I take wrong attitudes to the cross.

It wasn’t a big deal. I simply asked God to forgive me.

Then immediately I thought

“Are those little guys an inconvenience or an opportunity?”

I almost missed an opportunity.

a bad attitude is worse than a bad hare day

Sometimes my inconveniences are nudges from God pointing to someone else’s need.

I can huff!

And puff!

And  blow out complaints or

I can see and seize the opportunity He’s pointing out!

a bad attitude is worse than a bad hare day

(A bad attitude is worse than a bad hare and hair day! Can you believe the hair on this hare? So funny!)

I almost missed one of the greatest opportunities any believer can have…prayer. I believe anytime you notice someone it’s a nudge to pray for them. My inconvenience  was an opportunity to pray over two little guys that I will probably never meet.

I pray…

because I believe prayer works

because I believe that I am on assignment each and every day

because I believe prayer changes people and situations

because I believe God wants me to partner with Him to bless people around me

But, I know that when I’m in a hurry I don’t see things around me, I know I would have missed those little guys that day.

I pay attention to God nudges.

That day God pointed out two little guys that I could pray for.

I almost missed an opportunity…

to love well.

to see what God sees

to partner with God.

to surrender my selfishness

to practice some patience. OUCH! (I don’t practice it as much as I should.)

to do one of the most powerful things a believer can do

PRAY!

So I prayed.

the obvious…keep these kids safe

that God would bless them.

that if they didn’t know Jesus that they would come to know Him.

Or if they did know Him, that God would keep them in the center of His love and will.

that He would meet their needs.

that He would help these boy’s parents to be consistent and train their children in the ways they should go.
I even prayed, “How can I pray for these boys?”

I was in a hurry. I was annoyed–

How many times has someone pulled out in front of me and I was so busy fussing at them that I missed an opportunity to pray.

How many nudges have I missed because I was annoyed?

 

My encounter of two young skateboarding dawdlers was a reminder of just how quickly I can miss God’s best.

But I got a “Do Over”

As I think back about those guys, I can still pray. “Father, you know their names. Help them in school. Bless them. Keep them safe.”

 

Help me, Lord!

Father, give me eyes to see people the way you see them. I want to be your hand extended. I want to partner with you by praying for needs. I want to love people that need someone to show them your love. Help me to touch people with Your kindness. Instead of being annoyed, help me to be an opportunist!