I wonder if you have ever been late for anything? I know that it seems to be a character trait of youth workers, but I have always tried to get to places on time. I don’t like being late. I don’t like letting people down or causing stress or panic by not arriving on time. So I would always set off early to endeavour to get to where I’m going on time.
I have however recently found myself being late for things. Sometimes things are out of my control, like my drive into work. It can take anything form 30-60 minutes to drive into work and the amount of traffic on the route depends on a number of things, the weather and the motorway. If the weather is bad, then more people drive to work or school, more traffic means we end up stopped. If there is any kind of problem on the motorway then all the traffic comes through town and so town stops too and I end up late for work. This is outside of my control.
I find myself being later than normal now just because of the morning routine, trying to get myself, my husband and my child ready to leave the house by 7.30 is tough, it means that I have to be very prepared the night before, packing lunches and nappy bags and trying not to get the two confused!
Last week I was so late that I even missed an appointment at the dentist. I really have no excuse for this, I just forgot. But I felt awful after when I realised.
I bit like today when I realised that I should have posted a blog on Saturday and it’s now Tuesday. I could give lots of reasons about how busy I’ve been or how tired I’ve been or that I’ve just had no time. All of which would be true and actually tonight has been the first time I’ve been able to sit down and write it. So I thought it would be good to write about being late.
It has made me think about some of the late experiences that we had in Chennai. Some of the best team bonding time has been whilst we have been waiting for the minibus to take us to the Boys Town, two of my favourite moments are Isabel doing a head stand and counting the amount of mosquito bites on Rachel’s legs. Another common late experience is waiting for buses to take us to or from Yelligiri, however again these seem to be some of the best time of just playing with the boys without a programme, being able to chat to them about their family, their like and dislikes and how they ended up living at Boys Town. Some of my favourite moments have been because of lateness.
So maybe being late occasionally is a good thing?
What have you been late for? Has it always been stressful or has is sometimes brought blessings?Imagine though if certain people had been late. What if Rosa Parks had been late for the bus on the day she decided to campaign about segregation? Would we remember her now?
What if William Wilberforce had been late for parliament when presenting against the abolition of slavery? Would it still be legal to own slaves? What if Jesus was late…what if he were late going to heal the daughter of a prominent leader because he was held up speaking to someone else, someone who wasn’t prominent? What would happen then? Then he would heal the woman who wasn’t important before going to see a dead girl and raising her to life. Jesus uses he lateness to bring about a bigger miracle.
So maybe we should think a bit more about our timekeeping, because maybe just maybe there can be a bigger blessing due to our lateness.