OK--before you move on to another blog, let me ask you to think about this one.
Are you a person who is regularly late? Do people joke about your lateness? As you may know, people sometimes joke about certain issues because it gives them permission to say what they are really thinking.
- You are late for the meeting.
- You are late for the lunch appointment.
- You are late for the birthday party.
- You are late for the family dinner.
I am not talking about a person who is occasionally late because of unforeseen and uncontrollable situations. There are times when you are suddenly in a situation which must have priority over your next commitment.
- Two cars are involved in a wreck right in front of you. Someone is injured. You need to get involved.
- You are leaving the office and notice a co-worker is in tears.
- Your high school age child drops by your place of work (which is highly unusual for this child) just as you are about to meet someone. You sense something is wrong.
All of these are a part of life. Perhaps you are late because you misjudged how long it takes to get to your destination. Again, at times, you are probably going to be late. But I am not really talking about this kind of lateness.
I am talking chronic lateness that has become habitual. In fact, people are almost surprised if you are on time. This may or may not be you. However, I suspect you know someone like this.
Before you dismiss this as something not even worth thinking about, let me suggest that developing the habit of being on time is a gracious practice. This habit communicates thoughtfulness. This habit communicates that you value another's time. This habit communicates that you do not take another person for granted. You choose instead to be considerate. Perhaps this is a habit a gracious person might want to develop.
What might help:
- Think about time as a commitment you are making to another person. If you say, "Meet me at 3:00 PM", think of that as a commitment to a person.
- Allow more travel time and more time to move from one commitment to the next. (For instance, "Let's meet for lunch at noon" does not mean that I need to leave my office at noon for an appointment that is ten minutes away)
- Thank God for another's time, recognizing it as a gift which needs to be appreciated and valued.
- Refuse rationalizations. Be careful about saying, "That's just the way I am."
- Pray that you might display graciousness in the way you use another person's time.
As a steward or manager of what God has given me, I want to use my time well. But--I also want to respect and value another's time. Afterall, that person's time is a gift.