My family was late to church this past Sunday. Not so late as to miss communion, but we cut it close.
There are several reasons for this. Illness, for one. Second, we were all dragging, perhaps due to the dreary weather and unseasonable chill. Third, there was a family event following immediately after the service at a location just far enough away to be a pain to get to. Maybe we should just bag it, despite having woken up more than early enough to be ready on time if we tried?
Indecision lay over the house for the better part of the morning, And then, a half an hour before the service was supposed to begin, my wife and I looked at each other and decided, Yeah, let’s get ready.
The lesson here isn’t necessarily that it’s good to go to church, even if you’re late (which it is), but that it’s always good to show up.
Jesus discusses this concept himself in the parable of the vineyard workers: “So the last will be the first, and the first will be the last.” This is not to say that you should show up late to work all the time and expect to earn the same trust, accolades, responsibility, and yes, money, from your manager or your customers–punctuality is important! But taken as a general principle, there are two important things at play here:
- It’s good to show up late as opposed to not at all. While still embarrassing (usually), it at least demonstrates that you care enough to risk shame by taking the effort to show up.
- It’s good to be in the habit of getting ready and going somewhere and doing something on a consistent basis. This might be what some mean when they use the term “grind.”
You might not succeed at your given thing 100% of the time, but by being consistent, you’ll succeed far more often than you’ll fail. And even if you fail, you’ll be able to get right back on your feet again.
Here’s an easy example of this philosophy in action: Working out. How many times do you just not feel like going to the gym or doing whatever physical activity it is that you do, only that when you don’t go, you feel guilty as though you let yourself down? On the flip side, when you do drag yourself out of your state of inertia to do the thing, you’ll feel better even though–and here’s the key–you might not have done as good and hard a workout as you would have preferred.
The important thing is that you were there. Continue reading “Better Late Than Never”