The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Bob and Betty were a devoted Christian couple, a strong, loving example of what a married couple should be. However, this couple was always at least 15 minutes late for everything: church, fellowship dinners, or parties.

Sadly, Bob contracted cancer and died. The funeral was to be in the church worship center. That afternoon, the funeral director went to the pastor’s office all upset. Betty was outside in the limo and would not get out. The pastor went out to the limo expecting Betty to be upset and not wanting to accept the reality and finality of Bob’s death. He pleaded with Betty to get out of the limo. She insisted she was NOT getting out. Finally, clinching her teeth, she looked at him and said, “That man made me late for everything for 45 years because he waited to the last minute to prepare and I will not be on time for his funeral.”

Timeliness has always been a struggle for me. Perhaps some of you deal with the same thing. I know some dedicated folks who believe if they are on time to any meeting or event, they consider themselves to be late. One of my struggles is that I always think I can do “one more thing” before I leave and it always takes longer than I expected.

Some think that people who are always late are being arrogant, trying to force other to wait on them or controlling the event. Others believe that tardiness is being disrespectful to others or to the purpose of the occasion for which they meet.

Back when we used to have a “meet and greet time” in our services, I had someone tell me they were late just so they didn’t have to go through that because they were introverted. That was a contributing factor to our taking it out. The main factor had to do with studies that showed it to be the number one reason people who visited a church did not return.

Tardiness is not an unpardonable sin, but it causes us to miss out on things that might bless us. To be honest, a sign of an exciting and growing church is when people show up early, either to help get ready for church or, at least to see each other and get ready for worship. As I said earlier, this is a personal struggle for me. Let us dedicate ourselves to being timely in all of our gatherings whether church related or otherwise. It makes the people you are meeting feel more respected and important to you.

This Sunday we will conclude our FCC Summer Cruise series with a message titled Don’t Miss the Boat based on Matthew 25:1-13. I hope to see you there, hopefully even on time. (smiles)

Looking for you,

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