“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall  into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2-3

 

I think God knows that I need a lot of patience.  I run into a lot of little things in a day that try mine.  Things like: losing my phone when I’m running late to work after a night of restless sleep; my fellow drivers that are either driving too slowly or riding my bumper when I’m already doing 75 mph.  Oh!  Even better: when they leave about three car lengths between themselves and the next car at stop lights.  That one really gets me.

Yes; yesterday was that kind of day, so I wasn’t in the best mood as I rushed into it with my first patient at eight in the morning.  And the mood got worse when I drove to the second facility in which my doctor and I practice to meet with our new office mates.  Well, they aren’t new; we’ve shared office space before, but never have shared space as small as this.

It isn’t an ideal situation, but I was feeling like it could work.  I had spoken with my colleague about the desk space we would be sharing, and the indication was that it was no problem, that she could move her things anywhere that I needed her to; we would work it out.  It was not a pleasant surprise to find that when it came down to it, she was less than thrilled with my division of the space.

I know that I wasn’t the target of her…upset…because moving us into that office space wasn’t my idea; I’m trying to make the best of it go with the flow like we’re being asked to.  But I walked away feeling like it was my fault that she and her doctor were being…inconveinienced.  That it would be fine to divide the space as long as it was divided in a way that pleased them and worked for them, no matter what worked for me and my doctor and our practice.  Because after all, they had been in this spot for six weeks now and had settled in with the thinking that this was their space, and we were definitely messing up their flow.

As a rule, I don’t like conflict, so my instinct is to back away and make the situation better for everyone else, which is what I did–on the outside.  I said that I would make whatever sacrifices she needed me to make and rethink my current system of doing things so she would be comfortable.

Never mind that I won’t be strictly happy; I’ll at least be reasonably satisfied.  If I have to leave it as “her” desk and move in like an unwanted house guest for two days a week, I’ll make it work.  I mean, even though I lost my whole desk and have to now share a small cubbie with someone else just like she did and does, I know it’s not the same thing.

And this discussion doesn’t even include the actual personal space each doctor is supposed to have as their own office…that both doctors now have to share.  Apparently moving our patient education materials, medication samples and insurance paperwork in there is an imposition as well.

You can see where I’m going with this.  Even writing about it makes my blood boil.  Grumbling to myself as I left work yesterday, I felt some guilt over being so angry over something so petty–at least in the scheme of things.  Who cares if my office mate is territorial about her space and isn’t thrilled about sharing it when there are so many people out there without jobs at all?  I’m guessing they would be grateful to have this problem if it meant that they were able to start providing for their families again.  But then I remembered this verse, and it kind of gave me a little perspective.

God isn’t necessarily saying we should always feel joyful.  He’s not saying that I don’t maybe have a reason to be upset or that I might not have to stand up for myself at some point.  Jesus himself didn’t feel happy everyday of his earthly life, and he had to take stands against people during his earthly ministry.  He is saying, in my small opinion (I’m no theologian and don’t make any claims to be), that I should take joy in the fact that these little lessons are meant for my good, to teach me about something better.  That going through these times can bring me closer to Him, and that is something to be joyful about.

Today’s Blessing: Looking for the joy

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