Please Be Patient
Monday, November 9, 2020
• Pastor Tony Rea
Before Tony and Natalie moved to Sioux Falls, SD, I was extremely blessed to spend time with my two grandkids, Audri and Gio. We lived less than a mile away from each other so it was very convenient to grab them for a couple hours, multiple times during the week. Whenever the kids came by, we pretty much had the same routine. First we would engage in a bunch of nonstop activites—Audri would always come up with some new creative game idea and Gio would always want to run around the house til we dropped. Afterwards Nonna would make pasta (even if the kids weren’t hungry) and then before it was time to go home, we would get involved in some kind of special DIY craft project. Any yes there were plenty of sugar treats, but please don’t tell their parents.
On the weekends, the kids visits always included at least one run to Toy’s R Us. Remember that place? They had every game and gadget you could possibly think of under one roof and it was by far the kids favorite stop. In her younger days, (she’s a very mature eleven now with little use for toys), Audri loved that store. Gio too!
On one occasion, Audri was planning to spend the night at our house without her brother. Most of the time we would take both kids, but periodically we split them up so we could enjoy a little one on one time with each grandchild. I picked Audri up from her house early that afternoon and Nonna was busy for a few hours, so I thought I would redeem the time with a quick trip to Toy’s R Us. Audri and I looked over the catalogue and I told her she could pick out anything she wanted. After a relatively short period of time, Audri found a four foot high Little Tykes playground slide. She pointed to a picture of the green and blue model in the catalogue and said, “Papa, I want that.”
When Audri was a few years younger, we purchased a two foot Little Tykes slide and it was a big hit. Audri loved it and would play on that slide for hours, but recently Gio had taken ownership of it. It was more his size anyway. So it was time to go get Audri a new slide.
When we arrived at Toy’s R Us, we went directly to the service desk and I told the attendant what we wanted. I had the make and model number with me and the gal at the desk quickly found the Little Tykes Playground Slide in the computer—they had the color Audri wanted in stock. I paid for the item and was told someone would bring the slide right up to the front of the store. We waited for a good 20 minutes and when no one showed up with the item we went back to the service desk. Of course there were several people in line ahead us so we waited our turn. I explained my situation to the same girl who sold me the slide. She apologized and called for a manager.
Once the manager was brought up to speed and worked his little in-store inventory tool, he too apologized for the inconvenience and told me the item I purchased was located in one of the portable storage containers outside the store. He directed me to get into my car, drive to the north parking lot and meet one of the employees at storage container number 101.
We drove to the rear of Toy’s R Us and encountered this huge maze of storage units, maybe 25-30 of them. I told Audri we needed to find storage container 101, they were not in any numeric order. After driving around for a short while, Audri spotted it and we pulled up to the unit. We waited for about 15 minutes, but no one met us there. I called the store from the car and asked for the manager. Once again he apologized and said he was sending someone right out. About 10 minutes later, a guy with the biggest and baddest ring of keys I have ever seen, met us at the unit. Unfortunately, the keys weren’t marked so he had to keep trying the keys until he found the right one. Did I mention, it was raining pretty hard by then and every few minutes, the employee would stop to dry his face and wipe down all the keys.
He finally found the right key and went into the storage unit to secure the item. He was in the unit forever and Im thinking to myself, “what in the world is this guy doing?” He finally exited the container, but he came out empty handed. He said the item I purchased was not in container 101. I asked him to please contact his manager and continue with his attempt to locate the slide we had already paid for.
Now, the entire time this was going on Audri and I were engaged in meaningful and uplifting conversation. At no time did I reveal to her how I was feeling on the inside. As you might imagine, by now my patience was thin. (razor-thin.) We were at least an hour into wait time following the purchase, and Audri was the only reason I didn’t let this guy have it.
The employee got on his two way radio and contacted his manager. A few minutes later he walked back into unit 101 and disappeared. Audri and I continued to talk about life, and at some point, my body language betrayed me and Audri could tell, I was not happy. After mentioning to her, they might not be able to find the item and we would have to go back into the store and get a refund, Audri said to me. “Papa, please be patient, I really want that slide.”
I said to myself, “be patient?” What do you think I’ve been doing for the past hour? When I thought about justifying my current disposition, and saying something to defend my honor, Audri just looked at me with pressed lips and big penetrating eyes. I didn’t say another word.
About 10 minutes later the employee walked out of unit 101 with a pretty good sized box draped over his shoulder.
He put the box in the car and said, “I’m sorry it took so long, thank you for your patience.” At that point, once again, Audri gave me the look—and we headed home.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”