Patience is a virtue… Very cliché… And much easier said than done.
But more importantly, patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit so I can’t brush it off quite as easily knowing that… Not as easily as I would anyway if I regarded it simply as just another pithy saying.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things. ~ Galatians 5:22
Emphasis added by me.
So let me backtrack and start from the very beginning of this rather incredulous story…
It was a windy day, and I stopped to check my mail after my brisk morning workout. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, but it didn’t… I brought the mail out of the box and before I knew it one piece got swept up in the wind and started tailspinning away.
I don’t know why… Maybe because I had just worked out and felt especially spritely, but I decided to chase it. Yes, I decided to chase it as it flew away above the roofs in the wind.
Too bad there was no one around to stop me, so I stared my chase… After a couple of blocks, I realized the futility of this particular mission and decided to abort it.
So what was I chasing so determinedly?
My DMV car registration renewal, that’s what. The last thing I wanted to do was spend the better part of my day, any day, one day in the near future, (thanks to the wind now), sitting in the DMV office trying to renew my registration in person… Ugh, no!!!!
After lamenting about this predicament to the first friend who called me immediately following my cross-neighborhood sprint, I figured out how to do the registration online. Thank God.
Okay… Now I just had to hope and pray that my tags and new registration arrived in the mail before my tags expired.
Fast forward four weeks… Nothing… Worst case scenario realized… So off to DMV I had to go…
Which brings me to today… I carefully planned out all my errands for the day, mapping out my stops in a geographically-sensible order so that there was no wastage of time and no unnecessary backtracking.
Pit Stop #2: DMV
Okay… Breathe… Maybe this time won’t be as bad as every other time… Surely, this could possibly be the one time that everything goes smoothly. I mean, I had my proof of online payment and proof of vehicle insurance. And I planned ahead and brought my library book to read while I waited (actually, truth be told, I was looking forward to having some concentrated reading time).
Did I mention that it was raining, by the way…?
I mean really raining… Not the kind of rain that you simply hop out of the car and do a cute run into a sheltered covering… No, this was the kind of rain that made me contemplate sitting in the car until it calmed down because I didn’t want to get my hair as wet as I just knew for sure the dash from the car to the DMV door would make it.
What’s a black girl to do…?
Sit in the car and risk making my wait even longer or make the dash, deal with my hair woes later and just get this whole DMV thing over and done with?
I made the dash.
I got my number and took a seat, book firmly in hand, I settled in for a nice long relaxing read… I mean, I waited for my number to be called…
So my turn eventually came and I went to the window, pled my case, presented my evidence, then closed my plea with a request for my tags. The lady typed away at her computer… And then typed some more…
I couldn’t read her poker face but I didn’t care, I felt deep down that there wouldn’t be a problem. This time was going to be good.
“You’ll need to pay to get replacement tags” she said.
“Wait… Replacement…? But I never received the tags in the first place…”
“I don’t want a replacement… I want the original tags I never received. More importantly, I want to NOT have to pay a second time for a mistake I didn’t make…”
“I didn’t lose my tags… I didn’t actually get them in the first place”
“No… I refuse to pay again… I simply refuse to!!!”
That’s exactly how the conversation went… In my head… Needless to say, that is not how the exchange actually went down.
I know better than to do anything that appears “aggressive” in the DMV office or things could possibly go badly.
It’s not worth it.
But more importantly, in the time I had that entire conversation in my head, a bible verse also popped right into my head that changed what actually came out of my mouth.
The verse: Galatians 5:22 (quoted above)
What came out of my mouth: nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I realized that she wasn’t making up that rule right then and there just for me. She was obviously following some protocol that she had the “benefit” of conveying to me. I could choose to fly off the handle or I could choose to not have a battle I was destined to lose anyway.
So instead I reached into my purse to get her the payment.
She processed the transaction and handed my a new registration slip and shiny new tags good for one more year, and some parting advice… “You should only put on the tags when the plates are dry and clean”.
My interpretation: I wouldn’t attempt to put those tags on the car in this rain otherwise you’ll be paying again for yet another “replacement”.
Enough said. I got it.
I’ll be honest… I did continue having a conversation in my head that I wished I could have with the lady or the DMV powers-that-be about how the DMV is a money-making machine. It didn’t accomplish anything but at least I heard myself out…
Yes, I was happy to have my tags and registration, but I was also still miffed.