I’m wrestling with the ice cream
Inside this soft scoop box
My spoon is bent, my patience spent
I’m trying to outfox
The barrier before me
To get my just dessert
I’ll hack at that unyielding mass
No matter what the hurt.
But hey, where is my patience
Why don’t I let it melt
Surely it will taste the same
If time and me both dwelt
Perhaps this is my problem
Too hasty in my ways
A Martha living in my skin
To be a Mary pays.
So if I wait upon The Lord
Instead of rushing it
And let us melt together
In a fusion, we will knit
A tasty time of bonding
And one that satisfies
Oh Lord, please give me patience
To delight in Your surprise.
-By Mike Bullock
In my English class we’ve been studying poems. How to read them. How to annotate them. We’ve had to do paper analysis’ on them. And we’ve even just recently turned in a 5-7 page research paper on one poet and one or two of his poems (with annotations, citations, punctuation….yeah, all that good stuff). We talked about rhythmic poetry, the meters in poetry; the persona, the author. We’ve even had to memorize some technical terms pertaining to poetry. But even though a good 93% of the fifty-minute class is spent doing work, the other 7% of the time, we’re encouraged to talk about some of our favorite poetry and poets.
I think out of all people to choose from, it is no wonder why many people are shocked when I say that Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet. His rhythm, tone and his storylines just seem, oddly, interesting to me. Poe is known to write all about bleak stuff and dark, old, spooky houses. Etc, etc. I, on the other hand, am not especially known to write (though I blog), but I am known to be smiling and laughing all the time…. … …I don’t even know.
So the time came, (as, dreadfully it always does) for my class to begin their research projects. We were given a list of poets to choose from. Poe had already been taken by a previous class so I had to choose someone else. When I told my professor that I was mildly disappointed, she only helped me to see the loss in a brighter way. She told me that since Poe (along with my second and third choices, Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks) had been taken, this was an opportunity to find some new poets I might like. She said I may even LIKE discovering new poets.
Gee. What could I say?? That’s not exactly how I was looking at it, and it might be a little petty. Okay… so it was a lot petty. But basically the only reason I chose those particular poets (aside from actually having read some of their works and LIKING them) was because I already knew, …Ohh a good 4-5 pages of things I could speak about within a paper. Picking someone else meant I actually had to DO the research. …(Bummer)
Anyway! After a little exploring, I found my poet, got with a friend who had to do the same assignment and we began making treks to the library to do some research. In the end, I found enough research, did my paper, put it in its manilla envelope, and submitted it in class.
But my professor was right. I found that there are lots of other poets with good rhythms, and tones and messages. And Bullock is one of them. See just this past weekend, my mom and I went to Best Buy. I had very strongly intended to get a new phone. I was QUITE adamant about it. INSISTED, I MUST HAVE IT.
Got up to the register, I wasn’t old enough to have the phone contract in my name. Gotta be 18….
… … …
Yeah. I REEEEAAALLLLY didn’t wanna wait ’til my birthday (which is only in like a month or so’s time) to have to get it. When I read this poem, it all clicked. Everything was so simple. I always knew I wasn’t so patient. I can do better. But when I read this, it was like someone threw cold water on my face while I was sleep. It hit me so hard. “I’m trying to outfox/ the barrier before me/ to get my just dessert/ no matter what the hurt.” That’s exactly what I do when I don’t have patience. And that’s just what I was doing at Best Buy. I was trying to make it work SO BAD, knowing it wouldn’t. And I found that sometimes in life, we see the same illustration as the ice cream. When we want something really badly, like that fresh new quart of ice cream in the freezer, and it just doesn’t wanna work right, we try alot of stuff to get it TO work. I know personally, I even put my ice cream in the microwave for a few seconds just because I’m impatient. Don’t wanna wait.
Bullock really spoke the truth in the next stanza. He says, “But hey, where is my patience??” ‘Surely [the ice cream] will taste the same if I just let it melt a minute… Wow. So then it’s not about how soon I get what I want. It’ll be the same when I get it, if I get it, NO MATTER WHEN I GET IT! Isn’t that just like God though?? We’re to wait on HIM. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” David would not have said take heart if it would be easy. And he would not have said wait for the Lord twice if patience came naturally easy either..
Bullock wraps it up by saying, in the end, if I wait on the Lord, it’s sure to be good. Why? Because we waited for the most perfect thing (because God knows all our needs and provides better than we could ever imagine) & we got it at the most perfect time (in HIS time). See now, that ice cream scoops right out!
So I learned a good lesson about patience from something as simple as a poet and his poem… Thank you, Lord.
To the KING!!