Have you ever been stuck at a crossroads of trying to be understanding towards others but circumstances severely diminish your desire to try and be understanding?
Last night was a prime example for my husband and I. Currently, we are in Dallas at a conference for my husbands work. (He’s working. I’m writing and relaxing 😎)
Since last night was Valentine’s Day, he wanted to make it a special dinner for us. He went to the concierge, got a recommendation, and made a reservation for a three-course dinner for this Italian place. Nice, right? I thought so. I was excited for a nice romantic dinner with my honey.
And then we got to the restaurant.
Our reservation was for 7:45. We got there a little before that and were informed that they were behind on reservations and it would be at least 30 minutes before we would be seated. Isaac and I tried to make light of it and have some understanding since they were busy. After awhile, I made jokes about how we should pull a Date Night Steve Carrell and Tina Fey move and pretend to be whoever the next name was called.
Of course we didn’t actually do that, though it was a more appealing thought the more hangry I got. And then we noticed empty tables not being filled, several not being cleared. Then people who had stated their reservation was at 8, but they got there before us so they got in ahead of us (somehow the reservation list started going on first come first serve rather than the time it was set) – I started to lose some of my understanding.
45 minutes after our reservation time, we got to sit down amongst several empty tables and we were hungry!!
Then, when ordering we come to find out they are now out of the meal my husband really wanted and only chocolate desserts are available for the 3rd course. I’m allergic to chocolate. At this point, the wonderful sweet man I am married to is nearly boiling over. He so wanted a nice night for us and so far it was not. But it couldn’t get any worse right?
If only those words were true!
We did get our salads around 9 and some bread – both were very delicious. We were trying really hard with some good food in us to smooth out the wrinkly start we had to our night out. I was fervently praying and trying to apply the blog I had written earlier in the day about showing and speaking love to the waiter when he kept forgetting to refill our water or saying our food was just about up. But honestly, another hour went by and we had yet to see our entrees arrive and I wasn’t feeling like saying words of love at that point.
It was after 10pm that we decided to tell the waiter to just box our food up (hoping that would hurry them along) and we would take it back to our hotel. At that point, they managed to get our food in boxes and found a chocolate free cheesecake for me.
And then they charged us full price for the meals with only an apology for the inconvenience.
We got back to our hotel, ate the food that was slightly cold but still delicious.
We did speak with the concierge right away this morning, not mincing words but expressing how deeply disappointing and frustrating the whole experience was.
The point of stating all this is that we could’ve gotten so angry and yelled and screamed at the situation, but would that have changed what happened? Probably not. It could’ve even made the situation worse and made us look horrible and definitely not showing Christ in our lives. Instead deep breaths and calm words, our waiter tried to help as best as he could. Could he have done better? Sure. But screaming at him wouldn’t have had him want to help in the ways that he could.
The concierge – I could’ve let my anger ride out and screamed at her this morning about a lousy recommendation. But instead we spoke with a good tone and she is working to resolve the situation with the restaurant and got us a reservation at a different restaurant tonight with one that doesn’t even take reservations but she pulled some strings.
I do have a hard time showing understanding to the restaurant after all that happened and could’ve easily been avoided, but I am grateful that a bad situation didn’t get worse because of an uncontrollable tongue spouting angry words!
“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
Proverbs 14:29 NLT