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I’m Norris Price, a retired minister, and I got angry a few weeks ago. It all began when Sam called and asked if I could meet with him to discuss a major event in his life.
Since my schedule is more flexible, I let him pick the day and time. He chose Saturday since he was off work that day, and because he liked to sleep in on his days off he suggested 2 p.m.
Two o’clock Saturday afternoon, and no Sam. Time passed slowly, and at 2:12, with my temperature rising, I left for the coffee shop.
I could have been fishing, or I could have been half way through a round of golf. But instead, he wasted my time. Was I wrong to feel used? Anger is probably a bit mild to describe my emotions that day.
It was 55 hours before he called, with a flimsy excuse, but no apology. Even when I told him later how upset I had been, he simply said, “Well, I should have called.”
I’m an old man, and my time is valuable to me, more valuable than it used to be.
My son told me it was because I have a short supply to draw from. He’s right. I’ve got quite a bit less in the cupboard than before.
Anyway, I resent it when people waste my time. Sure, there are events that occur which are unforseen and unavoidable. I’m not talking about those; I’m referring to the times when those who are in control are so inconsiderate of others they make them wait, and wait, and sometimes wait some more.
A few years ago, after I retired, my wife and I were looking for a church home.
In our quest, we visited a Wednesday night Bible study at a nearby church.
It was 15 minutes past the hour when someone came through a side door, stopped and said, “Isn’t anyone teaching this class?” So he grabbed a Bible, opened it randomly and read a brief passage of scripture, led us in a short prayer and sent us home.
I didn’t want to get to upset. Things can happen. But, a few days later, when I heard the official reason that was relayed through a deacon – “The pastor had forgotten that it was Wednesday evening” – I couldn’t help but wonder how a pastor could forget a regularly scheduled meeting?
Excuse me, but I don’t believe he forgot.
But, whatever – he wasted my time, the time of a couple dozen other folks and more than that, he wasted God’s time.
Was I wrong to be upset about all of that?
The way I figure it, if my Sunday school teacher wastes five minutes of my time every Sunday (he doesn’t, so I can use him as an example), I’ll be sitting and waiting on him for more than four hours this year.
And that’s not the only church meeting I attend. You can do the math.
If every church leader made me wait, I could soon be wasting over a half a day each year, and that doesn’t even count the butcher, baker or the candlestick maker outside the church. And remember, my son told me I didn’t have too many half days to spare.
But God wasn’t late. At the best moment in all of history, Jesus came, right on time. (... when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son. Gal. 4:4).
God isn’t late. He is ready to meet with us at any time.
His promise is “today.” (... now is the day of salvation. II Corinthians 6:2). Mordecai told Esther that this particular time might be the reason she was brought here. (Esther 4:14).
God will not be late. I’ll leave when He is ready. He has circled the calendar, and it probably isn’t going to change. (... it is appointed unto man once to die. Heb. 9:27).
So to be in compliance with the great rule: “I will do unto others as I want them to do unto me.”
If I agree to be the leader, I will plan, I will prepare, I will practice and I will pray. Then I will present whenever I am scheduled.
And I promise to do my best and not waste your time.