I can tell you that discipline does not come easy for me. But what I’m learning is that to fail to be disciplined is to invite disaster into my life, not to mention how it affects my witness for Jesus Christ.
We looked at the discipline of getting up early. Let’s look at some other simple everyday disciplines that we need to acquire.
Being on Time
If we interviewed people who know you well, would they describe you as a person who is always on time? Now I realize that failing to be on time is not the most serious character defect. But it can be terribly annoying to others and create some bad impressions.
Why are people habitually late? Here are some of the reasons:
- They don’t start early enough.
- They don’t allow for Murphy. If you don’t put Murphy in your schedule, you’ll find that often you are late because “something went wrong.” The traffic was worse than usual; you had to wait for a long freight train to pass; all the lights were red that day—and on and on.
- They try to do too much in too little time. If I am late, it will be because I was too ambitious about what I thought I could accomplish before my “drop dead” time, and find myself scurrying to get somewhere on time.
- They don’t have enough respect for others. To be an habitually late person is to show disrespect for others; there’s no other way to put it. It is a lack of consideration of their time.
If you have a problem with being on time regularly, I ask you to seriously think about the problems it causes. For example, how many people get irritated with you on a regular basis because you’re always late? How has your tardiness affected your relationships and career? How much stress do you inflict upon yourself because of last minute rushing?
What can you do to impose this discipline in your life? Here are some ideas:
- Set your clocks ahead by 15 or 20 minutes. Again, we are playing tricks on ourselves, but I can assure you it helps.
- Set a “drop dead” time every day, at the beginning of the day and for other appointments throughout the day. Once you figure your “drop dead” time, add twenty percent for Murphy. For example, if it should take you thirty minutes to drive to an appointment, set your “drop dead” time thirty-six minutes ahead.
- Allow extra time for unusual conditions, like bad weather.
Remember that being late is inconsiderate of others and does not show a Christ-like thoughtfulness of their time. So, pray for an attitude of selflessness that will help you put the concerns of others ahead of your own, and be on time for their sake.