Permission To Be Late.

My wife is really good at challenging me. Sometimes, it takes awhile to digest, but it’s always good for me, and it always helps me grow. Lately, she has shared some things with me that are helping me more than I realize…and I need it!


She read an article a few weeks ago that talked about the permission smartphones (particularly iPhones) give to society.

Permission to be late.

Hey, sorry, stuck in traffic… be a little late!

Really hate to do this, but I think we need to reschedule our 1pm. Not gonna make it. Lunch appointment ran over.

I’m almost there, hitting every light tho..

Be about 5 minutes late. So sorry! 

Well here I am again, running late! Really sorry bro!

I bet you’ve sent a few of those yourself, haven’t you? I have. In fact, all of the above are actual texts that I’ve sent over the past 2 weeks. I cringe as I read them.

I cringe because, 10 years ago I wouldn’t have sent text messages like these. I couldn’t. Texting didn’t exist, at least not publicly like it does now. I either had to face the awkwardness of showing up to a meeting late or be on time. Those were my choices. But not today. I can be late.

Because of our wicked technology, we have given ourselves permission to be late…to everything!

And we’re okay with this. You’re okay with this. I’m okay with this. Our whole worId is okay with this.

For some reason I find myself having this sick belief that since I sent the text message a few minutes before the start of the meeting, explaining away my lateness, that everything is okay and the person I was supposed to meet with, who most likely planned a portion of their afternoon around this specific time, is going to be okay and understand.

Wrong! So wrong! This is on me.

Here’s where my heart is really struck- I keep doing this to my daughter. A lot, actually. Ouch!! Even as I type those words it stings!

The amount of times I have left her standing outside of her school waiting….wondering…and watching every other classmate get picked up by their parent on time, is too high to count anymore.

Truthfully, it makes me sick. I have given myself permission to be late. Because of a luxurious device I have given me the go ahead to suck at scheduling and monitor my time responsibly, in a way that gets me to my next appointment on time (even early). More over, I have given myself permission to disappoint my daughter.

She expects me to be late.

And not just her! My wife… my other children… the people who seek me out for help.

That’s not good enough! I’m supposed to show up when I say I’m going to. More importantly than that, I’m a husband and a father. That’s the most important role I play. It’s my duty to show up when I say I’m going to show up.

In my heart of hearts, I hate being late. I hate it so bad that I could scream. So why do I haphazardly text someone else when I’m running late to meet with them? It’s just not good enough anymore!

It’s time I stop giving myself permission to be late and start giving myself permission to do what I say I’m going to do when I say I’m going to do it! With the people I meet with on a daily basis but most importantly, with the little girl who calls me daddy.

Maybe it’s time for you to do the same thing?

Question: Are you giving yourself permission to be late? Share your story and maybe what change you need to make personally? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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