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April 24, 2008

It had been thunder storming all day Sunday, but I found myself getting dressed to head out anyway. My friend, Phil, just moved to DC from New York, so I’ve been trying to spend time with him on the weekends. Usually, Sundays are off limits so I can study.

“Hey, so what’s the plan?,” I asked after dialing his cell phone.

Phil’s dad was visiting from out of town and being oversaturated with academia, I left my open MCAT books on my desk and headed to the national mall (in Washington DC), where they were waiting for me. We browsed a Smithsonian museum and had a good time, despite getting drenched and sloshing through a few too many puddles (it took my shoes TWO DAYS to completely dry). Having expended all of my nervous energy, I expected the night to be more productive.

Then, another friend called.

He was flying back from a business trip in Florida and after a series of delayed flights, he was expecting to land in Baltimore—with no one to pick him up. Of course, I said I would get him. Before I could make it to the I-495 pickup, however, he had text messaged to say that his plane couldn’t land in Baltimore. The pilot had circled for an hour, tried to land twice unsuccessfully, and basically terrified everyone on board with the stomach wrenching drops in altitude. The pilot had given up and they were on their way to Norfolk, VA instead. I was cleared for studying.

Not only were my jeans still wet from earlier, but my cold and wrinkled toes were starting to resemble raisins inside of my saturated loafers. Turning around and heading home, I changed into dry clothes and left again for a quick run at the gym. Before I could make the ten minute drive to the gym, however, my phone rang again. My friend had landed in Norfolk, took off again, and now was on his way back to Baltimore. My car was turned around for the second time and an hour later, I was circling BWI airport.

When my friend text messaged to say his flight had landed, I was pleased with my perfect timing—having waited a mere five minutes in the cell phone waiting lot. As fifteen, then twenty, then thirty minutes passed, though, my patience was waning. I had entertained myself with my audio MCAT review, pulled out an MCAT book when I couldn’t sit still any longer, and even parked in the airport garage and eaten dinner. I started thinking about what I needed to get done at home and the fact that I definitely wouldn’t get to bed before midnight at the rate we were going. With every thought popping into my head, I lost more and more focus on what I could have been doing (studying) and on the task at hand (rescuing my friend from his horrific day). It wasn’t until he slid into the car, visibly expended, that I was jarred back to reality.

“I think this has been the worst day of my life,” he declared.

He looked a little disheveled and he was actually shaking from the low blood sugar (he wasn’t able to eat during this day long episode).

A few weeks ago, Brenda blogged about the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. Here, Jesus encourages us to stay ready and be prepared for His second coming, even when “the bridegroom [is] a long time in coming” (verse 5). Sometimes it’s really hard to stay focused on our purpose here on earth (explained in Matt. 28:16-20), especially when it seems like we’ve been waiting forever. It becomes easy to lapse into our own selfish thinking and before we know it, we’ve completely forgotten the motivation behind our actions. Revelation 16:15 encourages us to “stay awake,” though, and promises that those who do so will be “blessed.” So, what about you? When was the last time you were reminded about the importance of patience?

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