The Practice of Patience

The other day I had to run by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription on our way home. Jaden and Roman were with me, and it was getting late. Darkness had nearly overtaken day and I knew Joel was going to be waiting for us, as I pulled into the drive-thru at Walgreens. My heart sank as I saw 3 cars ahead of me in line! I would have backed out, but there was no safe way to get out of the lane, so I resolved to wait my turn and practice patience. Indeed I need a lot of practice in this area. So it seemed a good way to pass the time. I was surprised at how quickly the other costumers were helped and before I knew it, my turn had come. Practicing patience seemed to be working! I was improving! My prescription was ready and I quickly paid in cash to avoid any other hang-ups.

Then, “Thanks Mrs. Price. Have a good night.” resonated across the com. I waited, but no prescription came down the chute.  So I waited a little longer, thinking she had dismissed me a moment before actually sending the medication. But alas, my irritation arose to see the car in the next lane pull forward and begin to carry out a transaction with the same woman who had been helping me. Now I knew I’d been overlooked. My practice with patience was waning. I pushed the call button. “Picking up or dropping off?” The standard question squawked out at me. “Neither!” I said in mild irritation. “I was trying to pick up and I paid and never got my medication; I’m still waiting!” My voice rose as I finished my complaint.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” was her profuse apology for the oversight as the prescription whooshed down the chute. “Thanks!” I answered grabbing it and heading out of the drive-thru, feeling relieved. I had passed the practice exam on patience, or so I thought.

Until, on the way home, as I began rehearsing with Jaden all the things I could have said, (but never would) to the lady who had so ungraciously kept us waiting, and Jaden said, “Yea, but you wouldn’t want to be rude.” I chuckled.

Then something–or was it Someone–prompted me to ask him, “Did you think I sounded rude to her?”

“Well,” he answered, “I thought you were a little sharp. I would have felt bad.”

Not such a passing grade after all. More practice required! Really? Can’t I just be done already?

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