by: Staci Stallings
I was at Hobby Lobby the other day. All I needed was five pieces of non-glare glass for 8 X 10 frames.
Maybe that doesn’t interest you at all, but stay with me, there’s a lesson here.
When I got to the framing department, there was a young man standing and reading what appeared to be a college textbook, a middle-aged woman clearly waiting, and another middle-aged woman testing some ideas out with frames. What there wasn’t, was a salesclerk.
So I pulled my basket up, and I waited. And waited. And waited.
I considered leaving; however, I was already using this trip as a means to wait for something else to be finished, so what was I going to do? Go wait somewhere else?
And I waited. And I waited.
You might think I’m exaggerating. I am NOT!
When a salesperson finally showed up, she had a very large framed piece of art for the young man reading the book. He was very excited, but she had to carry it to the front for him. So they left.
Have you ever noticed how you can have a conversation with someone you have never met with only your eyes?
Well, middle-aged lady #1 was clearly getting miffed. I kept saying in my head, “Put your patience on. Put your patience on.”
After another five minutes, a young man (salesclerk) came out of the workroom and said, “Who’s next?” I quickly indicated woman #1 as woman #2 did not speak up and continued working with her frames. So he helped woman #2.
He got started on #1′s task and she left.
That’s when woman #2 turned to me and said she was sorry I was having to wait. They usually are not like this. The first salesclerk was already scheduled to go home so she had probably left already, so that left only the guy until the next shift started. (Clearly she had been there many times.)
However, the point is THAT is how long it took to start a profound conversation between us. She then asked my opinion on a mat for a picture and I said I had been watching and I knew that one was going to be better even before she tried it. Sure enough it was.
She then told me how she came to be here with all these older pictures. Her parents had just moved into a retirement home, and she was left with the pictures. To complicate matters, she was moving, and so she had to secure the pictures before they could be moved. She liked and knew the salespeople here and wanted their help with the task before she moved.
I said something along the lines of I bet she’d be glad when all of this is done, and she said, “Oh, you know, I’ve learned, it’s just all a process. There really is no end goal. You get there, and there will be more to do.”
And so God brought the word “process” into my life.
I have always thought in terms of goals. Destinations. You get there, you’ve “succeeded.” That’s why it was so infernally disconcerting when I got “there,” I hadn’t “arrived.” There was always another place to get to!
I think no one ever taught me the word process or explained that life is a process. It is not about destinations. It’s about living today and enjoying this part of the process (or working through this part of the process). Goals and destinations are fine, but they are not finite. You do not get there and get to stop. You get there and you can “see farther.” You get there and you’re asked to go farther.
When I put this word into my spirit, I can feel the validity of it. I feel how my daughter who is 14 is interested in going to World Youth Day when it happens in two years, and I know this is a step in her process.
Some of the steps in the process surprise me. Some I never see coming. But that’s okay too. It’s all part of the process.
That’s why I’m learning not to not lean on “can’t wait until…” because that part of the process will ALSO have issues and things to work through just as this one does.
So see today not in terms of finished goals but in terms of where it fits into the process of who you are becoming and of becoming who you want to be. To me, that lets my spirit breathe for a change! How about you?