So yeah, I’ve completely convinced myself that tardiness is a sin.
I haven’t always believed this, though. I actually used to think that tardiness had absolutely no adverse affects on me or anyone else around me. You see, I’m black. And everyone knows that black events never start on time anyways. Consequently, we don’t feel the need to ever show up on time. We’ll get there when we get there! It’s lazy thinking. In fact, we’re so accustomed to starting events late and showing up to events late, it’s like we’ve created our own time zone! So, it was very stereotypical of me to be on “Colored People Time” (CPT) as opposed to Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Furthermore, I used to see tardiness as a fashion statement, especially during special events. If you want people to notice you when you show up to a party, or more importantly, if you want them to notice your wardrobe and how swagged out you are, you have to walk onto the scene after a large crowd has already gathered before you, not at the very beginning of the event when there’s no one present but you! Showing up on time for something and then being the only one there on top of that is lame! I had the same mentality with school. Sometimes, I would show up late to class after everyone had settled down and the lecture had already started so that all eyes would be on me as I walked through the door. I know what you’re thinking. Who does that? It was all rooted in pride and was a pretty pathetic cry for attention.
But lately, my tardiness has really been bothersome to me–convicting even. I’m finally starting to notice how my tardiness actually does have adverse consequences for not only me but even those around me. In college, professors usually have a very strict syllabus. If you are tardy three classes in a row, it will equate to one absence. And if you rack up three absences, it will lead to you getting one letter grade down on your final grade at the end of the semester. So even if you were the best student in the class and made an A at the end of the semester, your tardiness could cause you to earn a B instead. Tardiness doesn’t seem to have a big affect at first, but later down the line, you will reap what you have sown.
Furthermore, showing up late to class may cause you to get attention from your peers as you walk through the door, which may seem like a profit to your ego, but your tardiness is actually a distraction to your peers and to the professor. Walking back and forth across the room looking for a seat, sitting down and rattling through your book bag to grab your notebook and pen, asking your the peer next to you what page in the textbook is everyone on, and raising your hand to ask the professor to repeat everything he just said in the last 15 minutes can become really annoying, disturbing and counterproductive.
Even with work. If you show up late to work once or twice, it may not seem like a big deal to you. But if you work at a job where the employee who worked the shift before you can’t leave until you get there, then your tardiness directly effects your co-workers. Now, you’re stealing time from them. They may have other plans after work that you just interfered in. Or maybe they needed to catch a bus home after work, and by you showing up late, they could have missed their ride. If that doesn’t cause you to want to start coming to work on time, perhaps getting a write up will! Being consistently tardy and showing up late to work can eventually cause you to get fired and lose your job! And it’ll be hard to find another job if the only thing your references can say about you is that you are irresponsible, unreliable, inconsistent, and always late. Although you may be a great worker, what does being tardy say about your character? For most bosses, it says that you don’t like your job, nor do you want it.
I’m working on my tardiness. I want to be a leader, and part of being a leader is having good time management. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time or be an inconvenience for anyone because of my tardiness. I don’t want to fail in my academics or lose my job on account of my tardiness. Colossians 3:23 says that in whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do so heartily, as if you are doing it unto the Lord, not unto man. And because we want to please God in everything that we do, being a good steward with our time is one way to show God that we are good disciples.