Ever notice some folks are always late? You can count on them walking into the meeting late, into the worship service late, and arriving late for your tee time. These folks think the rest of us should chill out, relax, and not worry about a few minutes. Well, speaking for "the rest of us" here's how we think you can get better:
1. Realize being late inconveniences, distracts, or frustrates the rest of us: When you come late to a meeting, to a worship service, or to an appointment it is frustrating for the rest of us. We've planned things and your arrogant entrance, as though our plans for the meeting or service don't matter, is quite frustrating.
Meetings and worship services, and most appointments for that matter, are scheduled with something important at the beginning. Your continual tardiness shouts you don't think what we do before you arrive matters.
2. Realize the rest of us made the choices and sacrifices necessary to be on time: Honestly, being on time isn't that hard! You just have to be intentional about it. You actually have to think more of others than of yourself. And you have to plan. You have to figure out how much time it will take to get ready and get there, and then add some minutes for the inevitable. And, if you're early ... enjoy the time! Bring a book, spend time in prayer or prepare for what is to come. Who knows, you might enjoy it!
3. Realize life almost never runs on "best case scenario": In my experience with close family members, those who are always late begin getting ready according to a time table that assumes everything along the way will go perfectly. They never think of the distractions, problems, surprises, and opportunities that inevitably arise every day. If you think it will take an hour, give it an extra 15 minutes. Do it for the rest of us.
4. Grow up: Your excuses are wearing thin. It used to be cute, and your charm always won us over. But now your persistent tardiness isn't cute, or charming, or acceptable. It is childish, selfish, arrogant, and unattractive. The world isn't going to wait for you anymore even though you think you're worth it. Grow up, get some consistent discipline, and understand you're indebted to the rest of us who live life with you, love you, and want you to be around ... when things start!
5. Stop it, stop it, stop it: Here's Bob Newhart's great therapeutic answer to life's problems: Stop it, stop it, stop it! (If you haven't seen the video, go to uTube and search for it!). But seriously, cut it out. And for goodness sake, quit coming to church late holding your kids by the hand. All you're doing is making sure they'll grow up to think being late is good. Stop it!
Remember, it's never too early to be on time and friends don't let friends arrive late. The rest of us thank you for listening.