If you’ve watched streaming movies, odds are you’ve experienced a temporary break in service or a buffering issue. Waiting for loading bar to scroll across the screen to resume the movie is irritating. In my home, this is met with grumbling, sarcastic spouts of “wonderful” or exclamations of “oh come on” and “seriously?” There is no end to the ways we show our irritation as we stare at the painfully sluggish bar. Waiting… Waiting… Waiting… Impatient to get on with the show.
One night, as I stared at the bothersome loading bar, I had an epiphany. The way we view interruptions in our movies is similar to how we handle interference in our day-to-day life. We tend to go about our lives, expecting much the same as the day before, and the day before that, and so on. When that doesn’t happen, we tend to get annoyed. Yet, when those obstacles don’t occur, are we thankful? For many of us, the answer is no.
Why is that? It’s clear why we get upset when things don’t go smoothly. But why are we ungrateful when it does?
Mind you, I’m not referring to pleasant interruptions. There’s no real character necessary for that. I don’t know anyone who would get angry if a sweepstakes van appeared in their driveway with a giant check inside - unless someone else’s name was written on it.
Might it be that we need such interruptions. Perhaps they give us a chance to learn something – to grow our character. How can we become patient without practicing patience? How can we learn to remain calm without irritations that allow us to practice?
So, the next time the loading bars of life get you down, do what I did. Get off the couch. Write a blog. Learn something. Build character. Grow.
And if things are running smooth – give thanks.