Making a Mountain Out of a Mole Hill

Making a Mountain out of a Mole Hill

Last Sunday at the request of my wife, who I love dearly, I spent a not-so-fun day shovel in hand, digging holes in and around our garden. This kind of request usually sends shivers up and down my spine and sends me into a tailspin of anxiety that has me anticipating the day for the entire week. Sometimes she springs the idea on me a day or two before. Usually in the morning when my defenses are down, before I’ve had my coffee injection. It goes something like this; remember baby we’re doing the garden this weekend. I’m not really sure which is worse, knowing its coming for the whole week or having to tell the guys I got roped into helping around the house and won’t be riding with them. Either way I never look forward to a full day of gardening.

Optimistically we decided we wanted to remove some unsightly plants and trees that were not contributing to the beauty of our back yard. We started with a few easy tasks, moving small objects and a little weeding. Then, the assignment was given. Babe, can you get this bush out of here? Sounds like a reasonable request. However, after two hours of battling in vain to remove the unwanted flora, I gave up. I took a well deserved break and sat down at my desk to enjoy a nice glass of sweet tea. With battered, blistered hands I opened my dictionary to display a word that had been buzzing around inside my head all morning; Patience (pey-shuhns) It reads: patience noun the quality of being patient (always a helpful definition!), as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

I’m not usually one to complain but I spent 2 full hours patiently digging in the dirt, a place I normally really enjoy hanging out, trying to remove the most stubborn, annoying, pain in the neck tree stump I have ever encountered (unless you count the one that ripped the bar out of my hands while on a trail ride in California last month) until I could no longer hold the shovel. My hands looked and felt as if I had just finished the Baja 1000 as a solo entry with no gloves. The worst part to all of this, the offending tree, some might say tiny bush, was no closer to being out of the ground than it was before I donated so many layers of my epidermis.

But this all brings me to my point. How is it that we can be so filled with patience for one thing and have absolutely no patience for another? I would happily volunteer my services digging in the dirt to build a backyard track. I’d even be there for multiple days and work into the night with little water and no food. But ask me to do the same digging to remove plants and watch my face and body as it contorts and convulses with fear.
Our patience will achieve more than our force.
Edmund Burke

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