"The reward of patience is patience." - St. Augustine (born 354)
I had an opportunity to choose and practice patience this week. I’m glad I made the choice and, in hindsight, grateful for the opportunity. Along the way I discovered I don’t think of myself as especially patient, especially when traveling. And, of course, the opportunity to choose patience came in just that venue – a road trip to Denver, normally a three and a half to four hour drive away.
The first half of the trip was fairly normal, a bit more traffic than usual on this particular road, but it was flowing smoothly. No big trucks chugging up the mountain passes to slow me down.
Then, just beyond the half-way point, approaching a small town, we slowed to a crawl which soon thereafter became a stop, a short crawl, stop and all I could see ahead was a long line of cars, one big long parking lot.
I was curious. What’s ahead that’s causing this traffic jam - road construction or a wreck? When it became obvious that we were going to be slowed for a long while and not arrive in time for a planned event, I set aside angst, frustration and disappointment, then texted a message to let the folks expecting us that we’d be late.
We opened the windows and while Luke either slept or sat patiently in the back seat, I saw rock formations and colors that, while beautiful traveling by at high speed, held even more beauty when I could simply gaze upon them.
The golden aspens were lovely and we joked that we could see the colors changing as we sat and from time to time slowly moved forward.
I watched people as well. Several made u-turns, heading back from where they’d come, none looked like they were having fun. While we donned cameras, others talked on their cell phones, again, not looking too happy. Of course, I can’t know where they were headed or what urgency they felt. I only know that I made a choice that brought me peace, not just there on the road, but for the meetings that lay ahead.
Two and a half hours and about 45 miles later, traffic began to flow at normal speed and we flowed with it. No signs of construction or a wreck, I’m guessing ‘the jam’ was simply folks who’d been up in the mountains for the peak of fall colors returning to the city. But I’m grateful for the lesson and the practice. Peace was the beautiful bloom of my patience.
Opportunity for the Week: Choose patience when something isn’t going your way.