Patience in the Everyday
Going to the bank is rarely a Disneyland-ish extravaganza. When I think of the bank, the words “sterile,” “chilly,” and “frowning” come to mind. I’m sure that working as a banker for two years has certainly shaped my view. Dealing with money is a no-nonsense procedure for most of us, so when I went to a local bank branch last Saturday to close out an account, I put my “bank face” on. “Get in, do what you need, and get out,” I told myself. Actually, I didn’t say those words, but I’m positive people could tell I felt that way judging by the dilation of my retinas.
I walked up to the teller and explained that I needed to close an old checking account. She handed me over to the branch manager and after 15 minutes of him clicking on the keyboard, I was subsequently sent back to the teller line to receive my $93,000 (okay, more like $127.36).
Things seemed to be going smoothly, until the moment I realized I was going to have to do something that I had been dreading since entering the facility, something most of us smartphone-loving, express-mindset, gotta-have-it-now-or-I’m-going-to-lose-it folk would do anything to avoid. I was going to have to wait.
Three people in front of me did their bank business fairly quickly, but as I arrived to be the next in line, the lady in front of me and the teller encountered a conundrum that forced me to wait eleven minutes. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be that long, so the first few minutes was excruciating.
As the standing and waiting wore on, I came to a crossroads in my brain; I could cross my arms, roll my eyes, sigh and fidget, or I could make myself less miserable, realizing that while waiting isn’t necessarily fun, it doesn’t have to be a grind, either.
Thankfully, I chose to be mature and found a way to enjoy the experience. I started to smile to the people around me, read some of the material on the counter and cracked a few jokes with the tellers. Dare I say it? The situation actually turned enjoyable! Granted, I would have preferred to have been driving home instead of standing in line, but the circumstances didn’t allow for that so I chose to make the most of where I was.
While the fate of the universe was not in question that day, the bank situation reminded me of what the Bible teaches about patience. Through several examples, we learn the Lord is patient with us as He waits for us to turn from our evil ways (2 Peter 3:9). He is also “slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103.8). Finally, He commands us to wait on Him for deliverance (27:14) and that by being patient, we will better than a warrior (Proverbs 16:32).
Waiting is never fun at first. I, for one, prefer to get what I want as fast as possible. Yet, the Lord displays patience in His character, and His Word teaches us how and why to abide in patience. So let’s lean into His example and go forward each day, whether at home, the office, the grocery store, or yes, even the bank, with a patient heart.