I made sure I was at the bus stop with five minutes to go.
Five was a safe number as it didn’t allow for too long of a wait, but it also would get me there at an appropriate time if the driver was ahead of schedule.
Taking my seat beneath the stand, I wasn’t expecting my wait to be very long. I wouldn’t even pull out my book.
Moments transitioned to minutes, and minutes grouped into fives and then tens.
Where is this bus?
To make sure I wasn’t completely losing my mind, I got up and checked the time schedules again.
Nope, I was right. The bus was supposed to have arrived a few minutes ago. Traffic wasn’t heavy, so I was at a loss for why the bus simply was not coming.
Once more I checked the updated time on the board which now read 15 minutes.
I didn’t come out here for the heck of it. I actually had somewhere to be, and as much as I absolutely love being in the chilly rain I wasn’t particularly keen on sitting outside for nearly half an hour.
Impatience developed into frustration, and frustration into anger.
I think that’s pretty slack that they don’t stick to the time schedule. That’s why it’s there, isn’t it? To alert people to when they should be at the bus stop?
In Ephesians 4:31, Paul writes
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
The longer I sat at the bus stop, the sillier and sillier I felt. I had allowed something as trivial as waiting longer than intended for a bus to bother me. My anger was unjustified, and if I were being honest with myself, stemmed from a place of pride.
I felt imposed upon to have to wait.
I had somewhere to be.
I didn’t feel like waiting in the wet and the cold.
During my time in Nottingham, the Lord has been teaching me patience. And just like patience is an active choice so is attitude.
We choose what we allow to bother us.
We let ourselves become annoyed, bitter, and angry.
Our flesh wants to react, to make a rash decision based on emotion. Our Father wants us to respond, to make a calculated choice about how something will affect us.
We can either choose to satiate our pride and allow anger to fester in our hearts. Or, we can choose to staunch what comes naturally and allow grace to flow from our hearts instead.
It’s not easy. Instinctively, by our sinful nature, we want to react with an “I” perspective. How does this affect me? But God calls us to respond with a “I AM” point of view. How does this honor God?
During the course of the day there will be countless things with the potential to throw you for a loop and set your attitude on edge. But remember, we choose our attitude.
We can’t always determine our circumstances, but we can determine our response to those circumstances.