I feel like I’m always running behind. Ask my Mom, I’ve been running late since the day I was born, which she would tell you was a full three weeks behind!
If you are an early person, or even an on time person, I saw you. You rolled your eyes. A vein in your forehead twitched. And you looked at your watch.
I know. I get it. All of you believe strongly that I should plan better or take a time management class. I should set alarms. I should create margin in my life, and leave 15 minutes earlier. And you’re right.
In fact, I utilize most all of the strategies offered to people like me who tend to live behind. That’s usually not the problem. The problem is that life is full of unexpectedness and interruptions.
Most often, I’ve made the best of plans and I’m clicking on a schedule when a neighbor stops me and wants to chat. You know, I hadn’t seen this neighbor in a while and I wondered if she was okay. Maybe a runaway dog caught my eye, and probably the person carrying an empty leash and calling frantically.
Perhaps I remember someone’s having a hard time or celebrating something big. And since I’m passing right by Trader Joe’s I should run in and pick up a card and a treat. Maybe I should drive thru Starbucks real quick because that would surely make someone’s day!
I know. I know. To you, these are all excuses for bad behavior. Because running behind is uncaring and irresponsible. I know. I’ve heard the criticisms all my life. And you’re right, there are times when I absolutely, undeniably have to be on time. I know how and when to make that happen.
And it’s true there are times when I simply get caught up in my head. Maybe I’m busy pondering a thought. And if I’m not writing on paper or a device, I am writing in my head. Time flies when I’m creating in my own little world for sure.
Yet for all the critique, I’ve never had anyone complain that I took time to put my window down to say hi. The frantic woman who received her poochy back was only grateful. I’ve not been yelled at ever for bringing a card or flowers. And the times I picked up a coffee for someone, they simply wanted to know how I knew.
Most of the time I’m running behind, and I’m always wishing for a bit more time in a day. Most days I’ve packed a lot in, but many days I feel I have nothing to show for my time. It’s hard to quantify smiles, chats, looking at pictures of our granddaughter, and making up songs. It’s hard to put a productivity label on phone calls, texts, posts and reading other people’s stories.
My comfort in being a person who is perpetually behind is Jesus. He took His time. Other people thought he should have arrived at least 3 days previous, but Jesus knew He was right on time. And when he walked out of the grave, Lazarus didn’t seem to be angry about the timing.
Disciples thought Jesus should take a lunch break with the guys, but the Samaritan woman was intrigued by the man who arrived late at the well just as she had. The woman who squeezed through the crowd to touch the hem of His garment was grateful Jesus tarried another moment on his way to heal a young girl. And the young girl was healed not too late.
Jesus was interruptible. He was on God’s calendar. It seems, from reading the New Testament gospels, that people were annoyed with Jesus a lot. They didn’t understand His ways, and I’m pretty sure Jesus was considered a bit behind the times. That’s with the exception of the many people who benefited from His willingness to stop on His way to an appointment.
I’ll probably show up late to my funeral, but that’s okay. Being behind is usually right where Jesus is waiting for me to catch up.
Eyes on Jesus and Shine,