I was late. And tardiness is one of my biggest pet peeves!
The day started out well enough. I was speaking for a women's luncheon, so I was busy prepping and praying. As I began to get dressed I remembered I needed my Bible. The day before my 9 year old asked if she could read my Bible - and when your kid asks to read your Bible YOU SAY YES! But now, the next day, she didn't know where it was. So I sent her on a seek and find mission.
Soon, I enlisted the help of her sister, and finally after I was ready I joined in, but the Bible was gone. Finally, I had to leave, so I grabbed another Bible and headed out the door. However, if you are in YOUR Bible often, you know that "another Bible" is a foreign place. You can't "feel" you way to verses, you actually have to look them up. But - I had a Bible and it was time to go.
I jumped on the interstate and started practicing my talk. About 15 minutes later I noticed an exit sign. A distressing exit sign - because it was an exit in the opposite direction of the way I was supposed to be going. In my stress over the Bible situation, and speaking in general, I had gotten on the interstate in the WRONG direction. Now, I was 15 minutes away, in the wrong direction, and I was going to be late!
Immediately the tape started. You know the one? The negative self talk tape. Maybe you have one too, it's always on standby ready to play. It starts with a true fact, "You're going to be late." But from there it turns into all fiction, "How could you be late, how stupid! You are an idiot. What kind of person gets on the interstate the wrong direction. They'll never respect you if you're late. And what makes you think they want to hear anything you have to say anyway?" and on, and on.
But this time, I hit the "stop" button. And I started to pray. I thanked God for loving me just as I am, and for sending Jesus for filling the gaps by my failures.
One of my favorite contemporary Christian praise songs is Redeemed, Savior, Friend. I love the lyric that states, "You're familiar with my weakness, devoted to the end." Jesus knows full well all my weaknesses, but he loves my anyway. He doesn't expect me to be perfect, he died because I can't be. He knows my weakness, but he is devoted to me anyway.
Next time you "mess up big" like I did, stop the tape! Don't let the recording in your mind remind you of all your faults. Instead, remember your Redeemer. He knows your weakness, and he loves you anyway.
And as for being late...I was indeed 15 minutes later than the time I wanted to be there. But still 15 minutes before the event began. Because I hate being late. :-)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com