by Ed Rowell

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From Irritated to Patient (5 of 9)
Ed Rowell
Galatians 5:22
October 10, 2004

Getting antsy during an all day seminar, a man leaned over to the woman seated next to him and whispered, "This is awful. Are you going to stay to the bitter end?" To which she replied with a smile, "I am the bitter end."

Do you know the definition of a split second? The interval of time between when the light in front of you turns green and the driver behind you starts to honk.

The biggest example of impatience I've ever seen came about 10 years ago when I was a pastor at Arizona. A family comprised of a couple and their 3 grown children, spouses, and grandchildren, were taking a trip together in an RV. They stopped at Walmart for some supplies, and the man collapsed with a stroke over by the toothpaste.

He was rushed to the Show Low hospital. We lived about 20 miles away from the hospital, and I was visiting a member of our church who was there and stopped to talk to a nurse I knew. She told me about the man who collapsed at Walmart, so I went to see his family while I was there. A couple of days later, his wife called. "Would you be available to do my husband's funeral on Saturday evening?"

I said, "Oh, I hadn't heard that your husband had died. I'm so sorry."

"Well, he's not dead yet, but he probably won't hang on much longer. But it works better for us to go ahead and make plans so the kids can get back home." I didn't answer right away, not sure how to reply. "Well, people have to get on with their lives, you know!"

I had never received any training in how to hold a funeral for a man who wasn't dead yet, so I agreed to meet with the family on Saturday evening at the hospital chapel. I sort of made it up on the spot. We prayed together, and read some Scriptures, then the kids headed on back home to get on with their lives. That poor old man hung in there a few more days, then finally cooperated and died on Monday as I recall.

Don't y ...

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