Late, But On Time

A few things: I may have written something along the lines of this topic some years ago.  You should keep reading anyway.  I will probably get straight to the point today because I’m not sure how to stretch out these words nor do I wish to say more than I need to say.  You should keep reading anyway.  This may feel real motivational and Ted Talkish.  You should keep reading anyway.

| Late, But On Time |

My name is Christen Diane Rouson, and I am NOT a morning person.  Anyone who really knows me or works with me knows that to be true.  This isn’t to say that I am not pleasant in the morning, I am saying that I am a pure slug in the morning.  I could take my bath, iron my clothes, do my hair, pack my lunch, get dressed, and sleep in the car the night before, and I’ll still need 40 minutes to and hour to get ready!  Because I suffer from insomnia (trouble staying asleep and getting restful sleep), it takes almost an hour of snoozing plus the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to help me pry my eyes open and peel myself out of bed in the morning.  Typically, the first 15 minutes of my day move at snail’s pace, but once I’m up, I’m up.  Because I sleep until the very last minute and beyond, I place myself in jeopardy of leaving my house too late and being late to work almost daily.  Today was no different. 

Let me tell you a little story…

This morning, I snoozed and snoozed until what I deemed to be the appropriate time to wake up.  My clothes were already selected and my hair was already done, so all I needed to do was shower (no more than two songs on the playlist – that’s approximately 10 minutes), throw on the clothes that were already laid out, throw my lunch in my lunch box and go.  Though a debate over two pairs of almost identical gold, hoop earrings and my ill-timed desire to stack the dishes that needed to be washed and soak a pan slowed me down, I made it out of the door only a few minutes behind my deadline.  “I’m gone be on time for work today!”  I praised God and patted myself on the back for that modern day miracle.  As I was heading down the highway, I saw one of the VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) signs that said something like, “Accident on I-664 at I-264 interchange.”  Dang it.  That was right before my exit, and that accident was bound to rain on my parade.  Though I saw the sign, I didn’t know how long ago the accident occurred and how I would be affected by it.  I started bargaining with myself that maybe by that point it was almost cleared and it wouldn’t slow me down.  I was optimistic that God would honor my efforts to be on time today and not allow this accident to hinder me.  Then I had to throw on brakes.  We were slowing down.  We were moving, but we were slowing down.  “I’m going to be late.”  I looked at my the clock: 8:15 a.m.  I looked at my phone’s GPS: 21 minutes to work.  It was settled, I would be approximately six minutes late, and it wouldn’t be my fault this time.  Frustrated, I began fussing at myself for not looking at my GPS earlier so that I could have gone another way and avoided this delay, but beating myself up wouldn’t solve anything.  I was in the thick of things by this point, and the only option was to keep it moving.  I got off on the exit right before the accident – one exit before my assigned exit – and sought another way to get to work.  “Know more than one way to get where you’re going,” is what my daddy used to say.  I tried to estimate my time of arrival based on what time it was and where I was at that time.  8:25 a.m.  One thing was for sure: I wasn’t going to make it there by 8:30, but I’d make it there.  I whipped my car in the parking lot, rushed into the building with my stilettos quickly clacking against the tiled floor, and I scurried to the time clock as if I were rushing to the finish line.  8:37 a.m.  I made it.

I made it.  I was late, but I was on time.

Let me explain: the time clocks here work in 15 minute increments.  As long as I clock in within 7 minutes of my scheduled time, I am considered on time (according to KRONOS timekeeping system).  If I clock in 8 minutes after my scheduled time, I am considered 15 minutes late.  I clocked in at 8:37 a.m. which meant I was late but still on time because I had a grace period.  *insert ugly cry and a full fledged Baptist fit although I was raised Holy Ghost filled Pentecostal*

Ladies and gentlemen, life is filled with unexpected obstacles.  When we set out to accomplish a goal, live out our purpose, fulfill an assignment or walk in our destiny, we don’t fully factor in “life happening” because we don’t even know how to.  The truth about my journey this morning is I had no way of knowing that the two motorists, who had embarked on the highway much sooner than I did, would collide.  That accident had nothing to do with my timing, my skill or speed of driving, or even my attentiveness to what was happening on the road.  The accident had NOTHING to do with me but affected me and my journey just the same.  My mother once told me that her mother would say, “The choices you make don’t just affect you but those around you too.”  Though I am certain those two motorists didn’t plan to collide, slow traffic, and make dozens or more people late this morning, their choices affected everyone driving on 664 this morning.  I was late because of them, BUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTT I was on time because of grace.  I’d like to submit that you too are the direct benefactors of grace.  You may be stuck behind, delayed by, or even turned around because of some obstacle or occurrence that you are not responsible for, and it may even seem that your estimated time of arrival has now adjusted to a time that is later than you’d hoped for.  Though that may be true, my friends, I have two guarantees for you: 

1. You will arrive

2. You may be late, but you’ll be on time.

I believe that God has reserved a grace especially for you that will enable you to be where you need to be so that you can still do what you need to do.

This hiccup this morning became especially encouraging to me as I have been taking a hard look at my life among some major transitions and asking God how I’m going to get where I’m supposed to be (destiny) and do what I’m supposed to do (purpose) if things seem to be getting off track.  I’d like to assure you with the reassurance that God gave me in clapback form (because that’s how God talks to me)…

God: You’ll be fine, girl.

Just like that, God got me together.  God is not moved by the things that move us.  God knew the end from the beginning and definitely has already calculated your missteps as well as the missteps of others that would impede upon your progress.  So if you are wondering how you are going to get “there” on time with all that’s ahead of you, I have one word for you: GRACE.  Those 7 minutes gave me just enough time to be on time even though I was late.

God’s grace is going provide just what you need to be where you need to be when you need to be there.  You’ll be late, but on time. 

P.S.  we don’t really know God’s timing anyway…

I hope this helps. I love you with my whole heart, and I mean it.
-Chris

 

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