The following is an excerpt from the book, Real Life Moments, by J. Mark Fox, C4FIC Board member.
“Love suffers long and is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
A teacher had just finished putting the last pair of galoshes on her first graders, 32 pairs in all. The last little girl said, “You know what, teacher? These aren’t my galoshes.” The teacher removed them from her feet. Then the little girl said, “They are my sister’s, and she let me wear them.” The teacher quietly put them back on the student.
I need to learn patience from that teacher. I am too often guilty of rushing to judgment, many times because it’s quicker that way. When Paul was describing what love looks like when it goes to work every day, the very first thing he said was, “Love is patient.”
Two golfers stepped up to the first tee at St. Andrews in New York, one of America’s oldest golf courses. The elder golfer was a kind man who played a thoughtful, deliberate game. The younger man was filled with pride and impatience. On the first hole he sliced his drive, lost it in the tall grass, hit another one, and finished with an 8. On the second hole he began to berate his caddie: “Keep your eye peeled! I’m not here to do your job for you!” Thereafter, every bad shot was the caddie’s fault. At the end of the front nine, the young golfer was so enraged that he discharged his caddie and carried his own bag.
“That caddie doesn’t like me,” he said to his playing partner. “And I am quite sure I don’t like him. He nearly ruined my game. Thank God he is gone.”
After several holes had been played in silence, the older man spoke. “Several years ago a little kid from Yonkers came up here and was taken on as a caddie. He was a wonderfully sweet-natured boy, quick-witted, willing, and had a nose for golf. Everybody liked him. His name was William. He had a club foot but that didn’t affect his ability as a caddie. It was a pleasure to go out with him. A certain famous doctor, a member of the club, became interested in William and took him south on a long trip. When William returned, he went back to caddying. The doctor, however, had to give up golf shortly after that because of his health. He died a few months later. One morning I was playing a round with William carrying my bag. Spring was running wild all over Westchester County and the fields and the hedges were alive with blossoms. William gathered flowers until he had quite a bouquet. “Who’s the girl, William?” I asked. “Oh, there’s no girl, sir,” he said sheepishly. “They’re for my friend, the doctor — twice a week I take flowers to his grave.” “You see,” the man went on, “the doctor had taken William down south that winter to operate on him. He had corrected William’s club foot, and William never forgot the doctor’s act of kindness.”
“Now, that’s a caddie worth having!” the younger man said. “What ever happened to William?”
“He carried your bag today for the first nine holes,” the older man replied (adapted from Bits & Pieces).
Prayer: “Lord, teach me patience, even if it means I have to die to my own schedule and agenda to get there.”
Action: If you have been impatient with your wife or children this week, go and sit down with each one and ask for forgiveness. (Don’t say, “I was just frustrated.” I have learned the hard way that what I think is just mild frustration comes across as ANGER and impatience to my family.)