Are you never late, sometimes late or always late? I would probably stick myself into the middle category, though I have noticed I have gotten a little worse as I’ve gotten a little older. I started thinking about being late and the impact it has on others when I ran into church 10 minutes late on Tuesday. I was working away when a co-worker walked past my office and said, “Good night, Jenny… you’re going to be late for church.” It was the first time since Lent started that I actually considered skipping. But I quickly gathered my things and myself and drove to the Cathedral. I walked in just as Fr. Strebler was at the altar preparing for the Eucharistic prayer. When you attend 5:10 mass at the Cathedral on a weeknight, you are likely one of maybe ten people there, so people see and notice you walk in. Including the priest. Smartass Jenny wanted to wave at him. Guilty Jenny wanted to duck her head in shame. Not only was I upset about being late in general, I missed my favorite part of mass. I like the reading, the gospel and especially, the homily. That’s what fuels this girl to keep attending mass. It takes me away from myself and allows me to contemplate the world around me. How am I treating others? Am I grateful enough? Am I judging too much? Am I worrying about things I really have no control over? Am I spending too much time thinking about the wrong things?
Being late to church on Tuesday was unfortunately the beginning of a domino effect for me. I was late to a meeting on Wednesday night… I was 5 minutes late to mass yesterday.
So what does being late say about you and what does it say to the people you are meeting? Do you apologize when you’re late? Do you expect people to just roll with your lateness? When I am late, I feel such a sense of guilt because I believe I’m sending the message to the person/people I’m meeting that their time isn’t as valuable as mine. Funny how we sometimes expect people to hold our time valuable, but also expect them to not mind when we’re late to be with them. I think the same holds true to our time with God, whether it be in prayer or in church. We expect Him to be right there for us if we’re going through a hardship or are faced with worries… but if everything in the world is right and we’re just going along our merry way, we can put our time with Him on the back burner and get to it when we’re good and ready. Save room and time for the one who always has room and time for you.