I’m writing this post through gritted teeth because I’m writing about something I desperately want to be true.
I want frustrations to be a blessing. I want to be able to look at each frustration as an “opportunity to learn”. I want to be able to look back at frustrating situation and see how I have grown through them.
But most of the time frustrations are just that, frustrations.
Let me give you some examples of what I am talking about:
The other week Sue and I went to do our “Big Shop”. It’s something we do once a month, we take two trollies around one of the local stores and fill up on all of those things that we know we will need and won’t perish, toilet roll, cereal, shampoo, etc. We find it’s a great way of controlling our finances.
We undertake this adventure on pay day, which for me is in the middle of the month.
In December we decided to do this on our own while the children were out doing other things. We’ve done this a few times, we knew how long it would take, and we knew how much time we had, so no problems.
No problems until we arrived at the check-out.
We were lulled into a false sense of security because there were no queue even though it was getting close to Christmas. Unfortunately there didn’t need to be any queues, the check-out assistant made sure that all of our time was taken. Bip…
I don’t know exactly how long she took, but it felt like she was averaging a piece of merchandise every 10 seconds. Bip…
It wasn’t just that she was slow, she also insisted on talking to her colleague on the next check-out who had nothing better to do. Like many people our delightful check-out assistant was completely incapable of bipping and talking at the same time. Bip…
“What are you doing for Christmas Mavis.” Bip…
By this time an explosion was going off in my head, “Does this woman not realise that we are the customer here! We are the ones that pay her wages!” Bip…
“Does she not see that we have two trollies that are FULL!!!” Bip…
Sue huffs to make her feelings felt and receives the look of the daggers, but still she proceeds as a pace that a snail would have found dull. Bip…
“Does this woman thing we enjoy being in this store!” Bip…
The explosion in my head is turning into a volcano. Bip…
“Does this woman think we have nothing better to do!” Bip…
Frustration, frustration, frustration. Bip…
I would love to be able to say that my thoughts were completely different. I’d love to be able to say that I stood there and thought about that ladies life and how terribly boring her job must be. I’d love to be able to say that I had compassion on her and showed it by some random act of kindness.
But no, frustration, frustration, frustration.
Did my frustration impact the check-out assistant – no, not one tiny little bit.
Did my frustration impact me – most definitely. I’ve been carrying it around for weeks, along with all sorts of other frustrations. It’s now January 2007 and I’m still talking about something that happened in a different year.
Frustration says much more about me than the situation. They are only frustration because I choose to allow them to become frustrations.
Frustrations should be a blessing.
I’m tempted to start writing a few “Frustration” posts, taking a situation apart and looking at why something is frustrating and how a different approach would create a different result. I’m worried if I did, though, that I’d spend my life looking for frustrations to write about. I have enough frustrations without going and looking for them. What do you think? Do you think it could be therapeutic?
I’ll finish with some words of Jesus:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”