Thursday, October 25, 2012

Make Me a Blessing: Encouraging Others When Waiting

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers,be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing."  ` 1 Peter 3:8-9 

It has been awhile since I've added posts to my "Make Me a Blessing" Series.  However, I had an opportunity to be a blessing on Tuesday and I wanted to share about it.

Have you ever thought about the opportunity you have to be a blessing to others when waiting in line??

On Tuesday, I decided to Vote Early, as I have no idea whether I will be in GA or in SC on Election Day.  There is way too much at stake this November for me to take a chance of missing the opportunity to cast my vote.

I expected a handful of people to be there voting early.  I certainly didn't anticipate a long line of early voters and a wait of about forty minutes to cast my vote!

Americans are notoriously impatient!  Even though some of the folks around me were part of the Greatest Generation, including the man behind me who talked to me about his experiences during WWII, they had obviously been influenced by the impatience of modern generations, as most of the conversation was dominated by complaints for having to stand in line so long to vote.  There were also complaints swirling around me concerning why the county didn't have more voting machines, more places open to vote, more poll workers, etc.  I refrained from reminding them that all of those things cost money, and none of them wanted higher taxes!  ;)

I made a decision to try to change the prevailing mood and to encourage those around me with a smile and a pleasant attitude and to not take part in the complaining.  ("Do all things without complaining and disputing" - Philippians 2:15 NKJV)

I reminded the rather negative man behind me that waiting gave us a chance to practice the character quality of patience.  I even gave him my best 100-watt smile!  :D  But, he wasn't too impressed with that thought!  ;)  Apparently, he had some health condition that made it painful for him to stand for a long time, so I offered to let him go in front of me, but he declined.  I also spoke of the privilege it was to have the freedom to vote, and he readily agreed with that concept, and started talking about those in other countries who would give anything to be able to vote, which led to a discussion of his experiences during WWII.  He also launched a lively conversation about how much our country needed a Change of Direction. I heartily agreed with that train of thought, and although he didn't stop complaining, at least he stopped complaining about waiting in line!!  ;)  

As I talked to those around me and focused on encouraging them during their waiting time, instead of focusing on how much I had to get done that day and how much time I was wasting standing in line, the time sped by rather quickly.  Hopefully, I was able to make a small difference in someone's outlook that day!  :)

How about you?  Have you ever looked for ways to be a blessing when waiting in line somewhere?  What have you done to encourage those around you?  Have you ever tried to help a struggling mother by seeking to console her fussy baby or to distract her squabbling children?  Have you ever let someone go in front of you in a grocery line? Have you ever tried to connect with the people around you?  Please share your experiences!!

I wonder -- will you accept the challenge to avoid complaining when stuck in a long line and consider it an opportunity to be a blessing to those around you?  Let me know if you are accepting the challenge!  :)

This post linked up with the following blogs:


Judith said...

Thank, Elizabeth for such a good post. I tried to avoid a line the other day when I just needed milk. I opted to try CVS...but they couldn't sell milk because it would take away from the grocery store. So, I went to the gas station to buy it and got stuck in a long line because the school across the street had just let out (I never notice schools, you know). Your post was more interesting because it was pertinent to me recently. Thanks.

val said...
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Eve | Inchworm Chronicles said...

I know I appreciate it when I am in line at the grocery store with my kids and someone is kind and smiles. It helps so much, as goodness knows there are plenty of times we get glares or rude comments. It really helps me not dread going to the store when I do not have anyone to watch my kids.

Because I know how much it can cheer others who may need kindness that day, I make an effort to have a pleasant expression on my face when I am out, use good manners by saying please or thank you, and make conversation with the checkers at store, something like "Busy day?" or "What plans do you have for the weekend?"

I find the common art of pleasant conversations is not too common these days and most people I talk with seem to appreciate small pleasantries like this.

I hope more people take a moment, like you did, to lift and be encouraging wherever they are, even in a line with grumbling guses!! :-)

Deanna Kohlhofer said...

I was once in a huge line for my license renewal with a fidgety 3 year old. A kind older lady saw that I was struggling to keep him occupied, went to her car, and came back with books. I was so thankful for her kindness and have always looked at lines differently since as I look for people like me who need a little help!

busymomof10 said...

Thanks Deanna! That is just what I'm talking about! Thanks for sharing!

Paula said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for your encouraging ways and reminding us to be a smiling light. I'm not the most patient person so your post really spoke to me. Thank you for sharing your heart.

I'm featuring your post at Weekend Whatever:

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. H said...

Excellent ... thank you for sharing this. I always need to practice patience, and the good Lord sees to it that I get plenty of opportunity! But, gently encouraging those around us to join in to patience is taking things a step further. Great message!! I am glad you voted, I did, too!

Mrs. H said...

By the way, I found your blog via when the featured your post on their linky roundup :) I am so glad they did!

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