For over 45 long minutes, John Paul had already waited at the corner of the expressway for his friend. As usual, they were to meet each Friday evening for their weekly get-together and night out filled with eats and a movie. However, as usual, Tifton was late.
Agitated, John Paul cussed under his breath and then stomped his feet hard into the concrete payment. At that instant, a fierce gale blew up from the south followed by a cold, penetrating rain.
“Damn.” John Paul swore. “Damn Damn!”
Traffic from all parts of the city had laced the expressway, joining bumpers with no end in sight for at least a mile. And with that thought in mind, several panhandlers approached and demanded money and cigarettes. John Paul pushed them off with a menacing frown and a flat, “No!”
That’s just like Tifton,” John Paul said. “Late. Always late. He doesn’t care about me. Doesn’t care about my situation. He’s only thinking of himself.”
An hour later, the traffic calmed down to a trickle and John Paul trotted home in disgust only to see a pair of blue stroboscopic lights flash in rotating circles on his front lawn. It was the police.
“Are you John Paul Reddy?” a police officer asked.
John Paul nodded and proceeded over to the officer next to a patrol car.
“Well, we have a report that your friend, Tifton was to meet you for his weekly appointment. Apparently he was backed up in traffic and tried to speed around a group of cars to meet you. In the mayhem that followed, he was killed at an intersection when a city dump truck was unable to stop. Tifton had run that light . . . you know how accidents happen.”
Being impatient with our friends is a common approach to our problems. Our first thought is to blame THEM for whatever happens whenever it doesn’t occur the way that we would like. The next time you find yourself pointing a finger at your friend, or your girlfriend: Stop and think about the story of John Paul and Tifton. Instead of blaming, simply thank God that your friends are alive.