Have you ever seen one of those chefs at a hibachi grill masterfully flinging double-fisted knives into the air?
And have you seen them use their spatula like a cricket bat to flick shrimp from off of the grill into the mouth of the guy wanting to impress all with his seal-like food catching skills?
Well, envision those knives, spatulas, and bites of food flying through the air as the diners squeal in self-protection and surprise, only now imagine not the shrimp flying towards the open-mouthed customer, but the spatula, as the chef accidentally releases it on the upswing.
That is the image of my relationship with solid objects.
Things are flying.
And out of nowhere the spatula just jumps right out of my hand.
It’s like that with all inanimate objects when they are in my presence. I can reach for a spoon in the silverware drawer, and as I’m lifting it up out of it’s little spoon cell, it makes a break for it and jumps out of my hand and over the side of the drawer as I am chasing it in hot pursuit, touching it occasionally only to change its trajectory but never to grasp it. It happens all of the time!
At least once a day I open up my kitchen cupboard, and as I reach for, say a bottle of cinnamon, the garlic salt, with its lid half open, because I put it away so quickly last time, jumps right out onto the counter in front of me, crashing into my bowl of fried apples, and ruining the whole thing.
I’m sure you’re saying, “You should just catch it before it falls,” but just forget about me catching anything, and you’ll save yourself a lot of disappointment. In fact, there is a 50/50 chance that when you “hand” me something, it’s going to end the same as you “dropping” it. Hence the need for the words to my husband:
“Do not let go of this
until I tell you
that I have it.”
Because whatever it is, it’s going to try and make a break for it as soon as it senses my presence.
It doesn’t even just have to be about catching things. I once opened the door to my van after shopping, and as I turned to sit down on the seat I missed it and literally slid onto the step.
Inanimate objects, they see me coming and they run in the opposite direction.
Now it has occurred to me that I’m a quick mover, and that might be part of the problem.
It takes you ten minutes to wash the dishes?
I can do it in two!
I’m not saying that I’m getting them completely clean, but they are good enough to go into a dimly-lit cabinet.
And when I have multiple things to do, I’ve got them all cued up in my mental to-do list so that I’m reaching for the mirror as soon as I have my fingers touching the brush. That could explain why I drop so much stuff—my brain is just too far ahead of my body. It’s like when I type something and the computer literally can’t keep up with me, and I have to wait for all the letters to slowly show up on the screen. My mind is just too fast: the world can’t handle my ninja.
And that’s where I get into trouble. I get so overwhelmed with the slow pace of the world that I want to scream. It’s like I’m late to pick up my lottery winnings and there are fifteen zombies in front of me in a narrow hallway shuffling their feet slowly rather than lifting them and walking at a brisk pace like normal people. I can’t get around them, and so I’m stuck behind them flapping my frustrated and futile wings, and watching my millions slip away.
I don’t have time for this people! I’ve got a schedule to keep.
I just wish the world would find their fast forward button. I can’t wait for them and their “Sunday drives” and “friendly” conversation when action is what is required. This became especially evident when I moved to the South.
Growing up in Oregon, things were a lot different. Oregonians are more time conscious, like me. But Southerners are more about kindness and social graces and all that stuff that just sucks the time out of my day and leaves me with nothing but ten minutes to do two hours worth of work.
I remember when I first learned that you had to socialize with a person before you could ask them to do something for you. “How do you run a business that way?” I thought. “It’s not a date, it’s work. Let’s save the scintillating conversation for the weekend.”
Yeah, I’m sure I was like a cold glass a water in the face of everyone I worked with. And I’d like to say that I’ve grown, that I’ve slowed down and matched the gentile Tennessee pace, but there are days when I’m sure it looks like I’m the Flash and the rest of y’all are Betty White pushing a walker.
Waiting is a bully blocking the doorway to the bathroom and I need to pee. And he makes me mad because he’s messing with my schedule.
My schedule is ma’thing.
It’s the thing that I commit to each morning. It’s the daily devotional I prepare to follow and study so that I can achieve my goals in a timely fashion. Without the schedule, where would I be?
I’d be out-of-control, that’s where I’d be—and then what would the world do without me?
Thoughts to Ponder
So are you shaking your head at my crazy or can you relate? Do you find that you don’t have the time to do it right, so you just race through and do it the best you can? If so, perhaps you struggle a bit with impatience like me? And let’s face it, when life doesn’t go as planned, it’s overwhelming. And it can feel like everything and everyone is against you.
So what makes you impatient?
How do you feel about your schedule?
Do you believe that God gave you too much to do in the time he’s given?
How do you feel when you are not in control of your schedule?
Impatience is a need for speed. We’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it, and that’s a breeding ground for stress, worry and frustration. But God offers us relief in his patience.
Patience is a gift of the Holy Spirit for anyone who will look for it.
What did Jesus say, “Knock and I will answer”? When we knock on someone’s door it’s because they have something we want. It might be a cup of sugar, a friendly conversation, or an answer to why their dog keeps pooping on our grass, but when we knock on the door that Jesus wants to open, he has a heaping handful of patience and a soft recliner to put our feet up on while he takes time by the edges and stretches it out like a piece of taffy. [Excerpt from A Woman Overwhelmed, the book, not the Bible study, there is a difference.]