OUR OPINION: Patience will be key as recovery unfolds

“Lord give me patience, and give it to me now,” goes the old line about the impatient person’s prayer.

Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, have difficulty with patience. We want to get things done or get what we want now, not have to wait for it.

This is a natural human tendency that has only been exacerbated by the high-speed, technology-driven, instant-gratification environment we live in.

When answers are immediately available to virtually anything we want to know and when we can accomplish a multitude of tasks with the tools literally at our fingertips, who wants to wait on anything?

Yet some things require waiting. Some things take time, and it’s not because somebody isn’t doing his job. There are tasks that can’t be accomplished overnight.

Tupelo and the surrounding area will learn that anew over the next few months and even years as the tornado recovery proceeds.

City and county officials are certainly counseling that picking up the pieces – literally and figuratively – of last week’s destructive storm will take time. They’re beginning to estimate three to five years before the recovery is complete.

Tupelo Fire Chief Thomas Walker was refreshingly candid at a meeting city officials had with the Park Hill neighborhood. “We’ll continue to be here for you as this is going to be a long process,” Walker said. “And you’re going to need some patience.”

There is at least 200,000 cubic yards of debris around Tupelo and Lee County. It will take time and patience – and, of course, money – to get it hauled away.

Hundreds of homes and businesses are damaged or destroyed, and it will take patience for their owners to get insurance claims processed, federal disaster aid paperwork signed, contractors secured and the work of repair and rebuilding done.

Streets and other infrastructure damaged will show scars for a while, and it will take patience as local governments make them whole again.

At this point, the recovery is well on track. Power already is restored to most people whose homes are in a condition to get it.

There’s already a disaster proclamation signed by the president and the governor has called a special session of the Legislature to fund the state response. FEMA has set up an office. Insurance adjusters are out doing their work.

No major snags have yet developed, but no doubt there will be a few bumps along the way.

But the main thing we know is that everything will take time. And that requires patience.

Lord, please give it to us now.

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