“Hope is practiced through the virtue of patience, which continues to do good even in the face of apparent failure, and through the virtue of humility, which accepts God's mystery and trusts Him even at times of darkness.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Tricia and I generally accept the fact that we are the parents of 4 little children and tend to make life decisions accordingly. We hardly eat at restaurants. We avoid family plane rides and most of our furniture tends to recognize the high probability of frequent contact with melted chocolate, half-eaten lollipops, and mashed up goldfish. Except for our coffee table. Perhaps it was the long winter, perhaps it was one too many temper tantrums, but something compelled my usually rationale wife to purchase a beautiful glass-top coffee table. Last week, while we were making dinner while our younger two Peter (6) and Norah (3) were watching television, we heard a horrific crash. Blood curdling screams came from the family room as we rushed in to find Norah sitting in the center of said table surrounded by shattered glass covering her face. Tricia swooped in to grab Norah and inspect the expected horror while I screamed at Peter, "Don’t move! Stay still! Everything’s fine! Just keep watching TV!" Praise God, after jumping through a glass table, Norah emerged terrified by the experience, but without a scrape. As I spent the next hour plucking tiny shards of glass from our rug, I looked over at Tricia still rocking a frightened Norah with the older two sisters trying to comfort her. I then looked over to Peter who had barely flinched during the whole ordeal. "Yo dude," I shouted trying to rouse him from his cartoon-induced hypnosis. "You want to pretend to care about your sister?" Without breaking his glance on the TV, he quickly replied, "You told me not to move and to keep watching TV. I’m just doing what you asked."
How often do in life and leadership am I frustrated with people who are actually just doing what I asked? When I’m wanting or expecting something new, how short is my memory as to what I asked for the last time? When I feel like God isn’t responding to today’s request, am I positive He’s not answering yesterday’s? Do I give Him the trust I hope others give to me? Now if only He’d point me toward a new table, preferably something with cushions.