What lessons can we learn from standing in line? You might be surprised by the answer

It’s another year and some things never change, y’all. The lines are just getting longer, the traffic lanes more congested and the test is getting harder.

Teach me, O’ Lord, to behave like your child….help me pass the test and learn the lesson when standing in line.

Standing in Line. Wow, doesn’t that one little phrase bring to mind myriad pictures? I could probably safely add that they wouldn’t be peaceful Kodak moments. “Standing in Line” can cause a skip in your heart rate, a slight rise in the ol’ blood pressure, a creepy feeling to edge up the back of your neck. Yet, there is sometimes no greater teacher than something as simple as standing in line.

Have you been there? When you enter the store the checkout lines are completely empty. The cashiers are standing beckoning bystanders to join them at their register. Yet, when running late for an appointment and you take the plunge, packages in hand; life at the checkout changes.

The “10 items or less line” suddenly has people in it that don’t understand the meaning of the number 10. Piercing the air is a voice from out of the blue saying, “Price Check” or “I’m out of change.” The moment you choose a line the register tape runs out or the manager with the dreaded “key” is taking a break.

Have you been there at the precise moment the person in front of you decides to review his or her entire register tape and then debate the price of each individual item? I can tell. You have been there.

That’ll preach, y’all. I was prompted to write this after being in one of those lines with you at some point in life. I figured I needed to address one of the hardest areas of practicing what we preach. Let’s step back and look at what we can learn from “Standing in Line.”

The first thing we can do is to remember, tribulation works patience. Sometimes when we are praying for something, waiting for answers, or seeking God’s will, life takes on the same feeling of standing in line. We begin shifting from foot-to-foot. We might rush to change lines, hoping for a shorter wait. We begin squirming and complaining. While hanging around waiting, our “enquiring minds” might begin to focus on things other than God’s will. In fact, we might tend to conjure up anything but His way.

Take a breather. Be still. Know He is God. Don’t jump into another line just because you are trying to speed things up. You might end up like the Israelites wandering for 40 years, or remaining in a checkout line until your hair falls out or turns gray. Remember to think on the good things. Make friends with your surroundings. Be content. Take the opportunity as a time to share your faith even if it’s just smiling at adversity. Say thank you to the cashier. Give thanks in all things.

You will make it to the register. Don’t give up your hope and your goods before you get your answer. Having done all, stand. And friends, don’t ever look at “Standing in line” in the same way. Rejoice and I again say rejoice. Good things come to those who wait.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.