Grandpa’s Tough Day

I started out the day with a goal of getting my quad fixed so that grandkids could ride it. I started by putting the chain on that had come off for the billionth time, but it kept coming off. I determined that the chain had numerous links that were bent from the number of times that the chain had come off, and every time one of those bent links went over the small sprocket it came off. I bought a nice, new chain but it was to long so I used my grinder to grind off some pins and shortened it, but when I went to put it back on, I discovered that I had shortened it too much. Fortunately, I had gotten two connector links with the new chain, so I put one link back on. I got the new chain on, but the new chain still kept coming off. I determined that the sprocket on the engine was out of line because a brace had broken that holds the engine straight. I started welding the broken brace and I caught the quad on fire. The plastic shrouds around the engine and the insulation on all the wiring had caught on fire. With my welding helmet on I couldn’t see the fire and it got going pretty good by the time I finished and took the helmet off. I started swatting at the fire with my hands and got melted plastic on my hands that burned me pretty good. I grabbed Patty’s chicken watered that was near by and pored it on the fire and got it out. The fire had burned off the insulation on the wiring so all the wires were shorted out. I pulled the brake handle and the starter motor began turning the engine over. The wiring was a royal mess. I had run out of time to accomplish my goal, I had to get ready for Leadership Class and Saturday evening church service. I would have to finish it another day. Our son Sam came over and rewired it after I had left for church, and it works good now, the chain even stays on.

One of the character traits that I am working on is patience , so I decided to make this a patience-building event after the old chain came off for the third time. I have come up with several definitions for patience in my pursuit of becoming a patient man.

Patience is choosing to act calm and joyful instead of getting irritated or angry when things keep going wrong.

Patience is choosing to be nice to people who do things that messes up my schedule.

Patience is choosing to not put expectations on people to meet my goals for their life.

Patience is choosing to trust God with the details of my life that seem determined not to cooperate with my goals and plans.

A keyword in the pursuit of patience is “choose, ” I will choose to act calm and joyful despite the frustrations of life. The choosing works best when premediated, that is make the choice before I get worked up by frustrations. Once the anger and irritation gets going it is much harder to think clearly enough to make a determined choice.

Once I decided to make this quad thing a patience building event, fixing the quad was now the secondary goal, becoming a strong and patient person was the main goal, so I was motivated to succeed.

2 thoughts on “Grandpa’s Tough Day

  1. Laura De Haven

    Appreciate the insight on practicing patience. Do have to admit though that your description of the day’s events reminded of the Laurel and Hardy movies we watched as kids.

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  2. Craig G. Morton

    Really concrete, helpful suggestions for how to grow in the character trait of patience which is something I have to continually work on. I particularly liked the idea of making the goal of becoming patient in character the primary goal with the success or failure of the task/activity being secondary. I have also been well blessed and instructed by your sermon series on character traits, it’s one I go back to often.

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