Saturday, July 27, 2013

patience: not my virtue

I have to be honest and say that the last 2 days have been very challenging for me.  I'm still settling into my new role as shift supervisor at work and there's a lot to juggle.  I've been told that I'm a natural leader, but that doesn't mean there aren't challenges.  I have a lot of new responsibilities and I have very high expectations for myself.  Most managers get excited about these qualities in my character.  But I have to be careful.  Very careful.

Here's the thing.

I move and act with purpose.

This, I am realizing, is not a common concept.

This, I am realizing, is ok.

It is ok for me TO move with purpose.
It is ok for others NOT to move with purpose.

One is not better than the other, but the variance this produces in the execution of work results in a high degree of frustration for me, which whittles down my patience rather quickly.  The store becomes a vacuum.  I step inside of it and before I even start my shift my patience level is virtually nonexistent.

THIS is where the problem lies.

It's funny, because I knew something was wrong last night.  I was incredibly frustrated, but I knew that the circumstances were outside of my control.  I can only do so much.  I cannot clean, run, or train the entire store by myself.  I have to delegate.  This means that I cannot control whether or not everything gets done to meet company standards.  It's just the simple truth.  It's something that I have to accept because otherwise I will be miserable.  And I do NOT want to be that miserable coworker who hates the world and does nothing but complain about policies, peers, and the fairness of the universe.

Then what's a girl to do?

I have to be honest about something else in my life as well.  I've been doing this One-Year Reading Bible every day since Thanksgiving, but recently I've been running a little bit behind.  I still read a little each day, but it may or may not be the entire day's worth of reading.  So, needless to say, I am not on July 27th.  It's so cool to me how God uses every little detail of our lives, even the areas that we view as "slacking off."

I woke up early this morning to spend some time in The Word, and I'm on July 2nd's reading, which contains Proverbs 16:32.

"Patience is better than power, and controlling one's temper, than capturing a city."

Wow.  God might as well have just said, "Brittany.  I want you to show your peers love, grace, and mercy through time spent teaching and encouraging.  This is more important than the napkins being fully stocked and the chairs perfectly placed.  I did not position you here to perfect the store.  I placed you here to influence.  While you are helping others to grow, I will use others grow you as well.  You must have patience with both yourself and others."

The book I'm reading describes patience in several ways:
"...a long holding out of the mind before it gives room to action or to passion."
"...the tenacity with which faith holds out."

You know what I realize when I read these words?  This does not describe me at all.  I do not hold out before acting.  My faith is not tenacious.  And that is not ok with me.  It's not at all ok.

Next, I read my "Love Out Loud" Devotional (this time I DID read the page for July 27th), in which Joyce Meyer writes, "People are hungry and they are looking for something is an amazing thought to me that we are personal representatives of Jesus Christ and that He is making His appeal to people through us.  We are to go out into the world and let the Holy Spirit flow through us to show people God's love--His patience, kindness, goodness, and the other fruit.  Let the way you live your everyday life be a tool that God can use to draw other people to Him."

Now THAT'S what I want.  THAT'S who I want to be and how I want to be remembered.

I read all of this before going into work this morning.  And then I stepped into the store and things just happened.  I like to think I exercised a little bit more patience, but I know it wasn't nearly enough.  I know that in my heart.  I know that God has called out this flaw in my character so that I will invite Him into this area of my life and grow closer to Him.  So I welcome the opportunity, even though it might not seem like it.  And I try again tomorrow.

"O Father, help me to become a person of good temper.  Dwell deep in me so that I shall be the peaceful exception amid the disturbed surroundings that I encounter day by day.  Amen."

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