Late Is Right On Time

I am always late. Even when I don’t mean to be, I just am. I am late to lunches, brunches, dinners, parties, weddings and sometimes funerals. It never fails. I live life behind the clock. Tick tock…tick tock…

LinkedIn (much like Facebook) is the devil. Or, it is to someone who always feels like the last one to the party. The back of the line bringer upper. I got sucked into the LinkedIn vortex the other afternoon, scrolling through forgotten invitations and messages and noticed a few familiar faces. Men and women I had known long ago as silly teenagers and bundles of hormones were all professionals now. Like serious professionals. Lawyers, doctors, rocket scientists, teachers, heads of departments, therapists and owners of things. There was no mention of meager titles like poop scooper or wanna-be novelist. Nope. They were all pretty impressive.

I imagined somewhere in their corner offices and big palatial homes, their degrees printed on expensive paper were tucked into equally expensive wooden frames. Each degree hung as a reminder, to all those who entered, the accomplishment. I did this. Did you do this?

I spent my high school years playing and running headless. Meanwhile, everyone else was keeping their eyes on their own personal prize. I knew what I wanted I just didn’t work hard enough to get it I suppose. Then, before I could wrap my head around my potential to be great, marriage, two kids, a cat, a dog, and a house came. Full-time jobs and the importance of medical insurance lept into my life before I was legally able to drink. The constant back and forth, up and down of littles and their activities ruled my life. All the while, those silly teenage boys and girls were growing up and gaining college credits and snazzy job titles.

By the time I picked up the pace, the class had moved light years beyond the starting point. There she is again, the back of the line bringer upper. Late, as usual. Always struggling to keep her foot in the inner circle, not fitting in and most definitely never on time.

Yesterday, one of the teachers at the school came and wrapped me in a hug. “Thank you,” she said. “Your book has blessed me so much.” She had told me this before, but never like this. I stood, trying to focus on what she was saying, but I couldn’t. I was too busy wondering Who, me? I didn’t do anything special. I am nothing special. I have no amazing titles it stories to tell. I have the bills and scars of adult living to share, but nothing beyond mediocre. But her words and her spirit was so sincere, I could only smile and nod. Her excitement ensured me whatever I didn’t do compared to others was just fine. What I had done was right on time for her, her spirit and her family.

Life does not keep score. Neither does God for that matter, but we do. We secretly keep score and carry our measuring sticks where ever we go—especially when we venture into the past. But here is a thought: what if everything we do or don’t do is actually placing us exactly where we are meant to be? What if our tardiness to the party is exactly how it is supposed to go? Who you are, right where you are is right on time, every time. Maybe, just maybe, the back of the line bringer upper isn’t so late after all.

~SM

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