I’m a late person. I hate it that I’m always late, and yet I consistently am. You might be an early person. Being late is intolerable to you, and so you end up being early most of the time.
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the head of the other type of person? Do they frustrate you? Do you frustrate yourself? See if you can find yourself in the following scenario:
Early Girlie: Oh, crud. The buzzer on the dryer just went off, but if I stop to fold those clothes, I’ll be late. I guess I’ll just have to iron a few things later. Let’s see… it takes 15 minutes to get to Panera, and we’re meeting at ten. I better leave right now in case there’s traffic.
Lady Late: Ok… the dryer buzzer just went off. I have just enough time to fold this load and zip over to Panera. Yay! I’m going to be on time this time!
Early Girlie: Of course she’s not here. Why would I think she would be here? She’s only been late the last 152 times we’ve had coffee together! I wonder how long I’m going to have to sit here like a dork and wait for her. And then she’ll come in with some lame excuse… I’m not sure I want to be her friend anymore. I think it’s time to gradually back out of this friendship…
Lady Late: Oh no! I can’t believe there’s traffic! I am so LATE! And I promised myself last time that I would NOT be late again. It must have taken longer than usual to fold those clothes… I’m not sure what happened. I looked at the clock and it was 9:30. And then the next time I looked it was 10!
Oh come ON you grandpa driver! Would you move so I can GO??? She is probably sitting there rolling her eyes. She never says anything, but I can tell it drives her nuts when I’m late. I hate how she puts all of this pressure on me. I mean, here I am clutching the steering wheel with big sweat rings under my arms, and tailgating a poor old man! Maybe I don’t want to be good friends with her anymore… She makes me feel like a complete moron.
Early Girlie: Oh good. She just pulled in. FINALLY. I’m convinced she thinks it is ‘all about her’. She doesn’t even care that I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes!! Isn’t my time valuable? I don’t think I’m as important to her as she is to me. I’m obviously not a big priority to her. I would never make somebody that I respect wait for 20 minutes. Clearly, I don’t ‘rank’ to her.
But, wait. Why am I worried about how I rank…? Here I am saying it’s all about her, but I’m the one who’s indignant about being disrespected…
Lady Late: Oh good. A parking place by the door! Ugh… I see her sitting there, waiting for me. I’m convinced she thinks it’s all about her. Her time, her agenda, her schedule. I wish she could just relax, and show a little grace! I don’t think I’m as important to her as she is to me. I would never stress a friend out the way she does me. Obviously, I don’t meet her approval.
But wait. That’s not fair. She’s never even said anything disapproving about me being late. I’m the one obsessed with approval, because I hate that I’m letting her down. She’s the one who cares enough to show up early and sit there waiting for me…
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility
I think those verses are helpful for early and late people. The closer the friend, the more likely there is to be frustration over scenarios like this. What have you found to be helpful, as you seek to be the sort of friend described in the verses above?