By Debra Torres Lewis Carroll in his children’s classic, “Alice in Wonderland,” wrote about an interesting character that I often relate to.
Now, it’s not the mischievous Cheshire Cat, nor is it the eccentric Mad Hatter, or even the confused Alice.
But instead it’s the rushing white rabbit who, in Disney’s version of the classic, hurries past Alice carrying a pocket watch muttering the words: "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!"
Ugh. The words of that hurried bunny sometimes swirl around inside my head as I bring my daughter to band practice 15 minutes after it starts.
They taunt me as I painfully write down my “arrival time" at the doctor’s office, inwardly cringing because it’s long past the actual “appointment time” that I’m also required to write.
And, I can hear the rabbit’s ditty in the desperate tone of my son as he tries to get me out the door a half hour before his practice. I know he hopes that this will get him there on time.
There are days when I wish we could do away with clocks. How dare they try to dictate my life around their little clicking faces?
Sometimes I feel that I’m judged by how well I obey the long and short hand of time.
_ Friends of mine are quickly briefed on my skewed concept of time.
I tell them to call me their “late friend” and to expect me to arrive at least 15 minutes late.
(One of my friends actually told me that she liked the “extra” time she had before my visit. It allowed her to be less stressed about getting ready before I arrived!)
When I was in college, we students had a standing rule for instructors who were running late to class.
If the instructor had just a master’s degree we gave him/her a certain amount of time, maybe five minutes, before we cut out of there. But, if the professor was a Ph.D., then we gave him/her more time, maybe 10 minutes, before we left.
I’ve often thought that the same should be true for parents. Let’s say, five minutes per kid?
That way, a mother of five could arrive 25 minutes late to events without anyone blinking an eye.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Ah well, you know I’m only joking. And I know I do need to work on some things, but it is interesting to note that the God of this universe bows to no man’s timetable. He’s got his own clock, and he knows what's best.
I do admit though that I’m always hoping that God would follow the time on my watch instead of His.
I usually have it all figured out when I should receive his answers.
Wouldn’t it be great if prayer worked this way?
The money for the bills would come in today’s mail; the doctor’s report would be a good one this week; the man we’ve prayed for would appear on her doorstep right when she leaves for work. My list goes on and on, and I’m sure that yours does too.
The only problem with this type of prayer is that it’s a big set up for disappointment – because God doesn’t go by our rules.
Sometimes we even allow our faith to be shaken because we don’t receive an answer when we expected it to come.
I think though that this is all part of God’s plan of molding us into the people that he is calling us to be.
Making us wait and trust can be a real faith builder.
It also requires us to submit our will to God, trusting that his answer and his timing are perfect.
Read what pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen says about this: “To live your best life now, you must learn to trust God’s timing, you may not think He’s working, but you can be sure that right now, behind the scenes, God is arranging all the pieces to come together to work out His plan for your life.”
My husband’s birthday was last week, and I had ordered his only gift online.
I kept hoping the gift would arrive right on his birthday but shipping was free and, well, you know how that goes – you get it when you get it.
The mail came on his birthday, and I got out of the car in the rain just to check – no present. I checked our porch also – no present.
Glumly, I told my husband that he would have no present on his birthday and that he would have to wait. I gave it up and moved on. God had decided not to let it come in my timetable.
A little while later, I was sitting down to work when I heard a gentle rap on our screen door. UPS! I hadn’t thought of that!
I nearly explained to the UPS man how perfect his timing was, but that would have been wrong wouldn’t it? It wasn’t his timing that got the present here in time for cake.
It was God’s.
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Psalm 27:14 Amplified Bible
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 American Standard Version
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
Psalm 130:5-6 New International Version 1984
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmenwait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.