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My late grandparents spent a great deal of their retirement years pulling and Airstream travel trailer and exploring the United States. My grandfather told the story that on one of their many trips across the country, he and my grandmother got into a bit of an argument over the pronunciation of the town they were passing through.
After a spirited argument with no signs of resolution or compromise in the immediate future, they elected to stop for breakfast at a fast food restaurant. When the college-age guy behind the counter offered to take their order, my grandfather saw an opportunity to resolve their argument over the pronunciation of the town's name. So, he said to the guy behind the counter, "Hey, how about solving an argument for us. Tell us how to pronounce where we are and say it real slow." The guy behind the counter shrugged his shoulders, leaned over the counter and slowly said, "Bur-ger King."
I remember several years ago recognizing the high level of impatience that I possess. So, I began praying, "God, give me patience." In my mind, I thought that patience could be granted much like when I would call my Dad from college and say, "Hey, there is a retreat next weekend, can I have $75 to go." If he found the cause worthy, a week later a check would arrive. But it seems that is not how one acquires patience. Apparently, one does not wake up one morning suddenly feeling more patient than ever before in their life. No, to develop patience, one must learn patience.
So, my continued prayer requests for patience was met with me finding myself in more situations where I did not control everything and things did not happen at the pace that I thought they should. It was a very uncomfortable time, and I did not enjoy it a bit. I do not know if I developed more patience. But, I do know that I learned to be a bit more careful when I ask for something. I now contemplate on what might be the results of the request.