From December 2009
While the following situation takes place in church, these values apply to all aspects of life.
I’d run in halfway through.
But I showed up, didn’t I?
My mom is a reader at our church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. It is such a joy to hear her read the Bible and I make every effort to hear her, twice per week. I think I have missed maybe 5-10 times in the past two years, only due to travel. It’s one of my top priorities. I make it.
But I am always late.
I told myself: “Something came up at work.” “I couldn’t leave in time.” “Church is too early.” “I am happy hearing the second half, that’s enough, it’s something.”
But it’s not the whole thing. And I wasn’t making a commitment. Why was I always late?
Respecting My Team
I have consistent weekly meetings with my team, both 1-1s and as a whole. I’d say 95% of the time I am on time. I make it a point. We said we were going to meet, and I want to honor the team member, and honor our time together. I’m quite simply not late.
Respecting My Mom
So why then does the principle not translate? Why is it Okay to be late for my mom?
How would you feel if you were the leader of your church and your daughter came late everytime? How would you feel?
So why then does the principle not translate? Why is it Okay to be late for church? And if I am really going to push myself, late for God?
When I’d come in to church late, people would say, “Oh you had a long commute from San Francisco to Palo Alto!” Or “How good of you to come”, “What a great daughter you are” or “You are so busy, of course….”
Not of course. There is no excuse I can think of that puts work above Mom and Church. Tell me one. I’ll listen but I can’t believe you.
Talking with Pamela
Worry, Rush, Slink, Apologize.
So I had to sit myself down. I had to think about why I was letting this happening. I was enabling myself to be late. My inner talk said: “It’s hard to leave work at 5. It’s hard to commute down. It’s hard to….”
Actually, when we think about it, it’s harder to be late. Think of the energy. You worry about being late. You rush in your car. You slink in, tiptoeing in the church with slumping shoulders and guilty “sorry excuse me” whispers to those present. Then, you need to apologize to your mom. Overall, you just feel badly.
Worry, Rush, Slink, Apologize. It actually takes a lot of energy to be late. Energy that can be better used elsewhere, for good!
So I am working on this. I’ll check back with you. I don’t like this feeling anymore, and I am not doing more for the world by being late, dishonoring my mom and my church.
Apply the principles of respect across the board. Especially for moms.