|Read the wonderful story of Malcolm's mural|
1. Of course I've been late. For years, it puzzled me why I was consistently late for one particular get-together. So often late to arrive, I'd gotten teased about it. I finally sorted things out when I admitted to myself that I really, really, REALLY didn't want to be there. I hated attending that annual event and was late because everything in me was resisting. I felt obligated and went a few more times, always watching myself to see what was going on. Being there never got better; in fact, it got worse, to the point that I started dreading it weeks — nay, months — before the event. Now I honor myself enough not to put myself through that anymore.
5. I almost hate to share the worst occasion of my lateness, but I think I'll do it. This happened many years ago. I woke up one Sunday morning and looked at the bedside clock. It was five minutes 'til 11:00 a.m. For those of you who may not know, I'm an ordained minister. When, boys and girls, is the "sacred hour" for most churches? Oh, yes, 11:00 on Sunday morning. I was pastoring a church (I'm now retired), and it was five minutes before the weekly service started. Five minutes! I couldn't even dress in time, much less drive to church and preach at the appointed hour. I grabbed the phone, told the parishioner who answered the phone in my office that I wouldn't be there, and they actually managed to do the whole service without me — all at the last minute. (Rather humbling, if you think about it.) The good news? There was a first-time visitor there that morning, and she told me later she was so impressed with the preacher's honesty (that I admitted I had overslept) that she decided to continue coming. I'd never have known it made her smile, except that she became my friend and laughed when she told me the story.