The Blessings of Punctuality

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Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh (Matt 24:44). How we view punctuality affects us both in time and eternity.
What is punctuality? It means to be ready, prepared, on time, prompt. It is doing or having something done on time. It is the characteristic of keeping an engagement or an appointment, such as a doctor or dentist appointment. When people think of me in relation to punctuality, do they see me as normally on time or normally late?
Does being punctual then mean that we will never be late or that we will always be on time? Think of the Good Samaritan. He had his bags packed, going somewhere. But he took the time to stop and help the injured man along the way. He was on time to help the wounded man, took time to take him to the inn, and paid for his care and keeping. In so doing, he was probably late for wherever he was going.
Punctuality is a virtue that we do well to keep alive among us. It does influence many areas of our lives. Where does punctuality begin? It begins in the home with the parents. Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Children need to be taught to obey promptly when instructed to pick up the toys, etc. This should be well ingrained in them by the time they are three or four years old.
If we are going to be punctual, we need to set goals and have schedules. Set a time to go to bed. Have a time to get up in the morning, allowing ample time for chores. Have a regular time for meals, meet school schedules, and so forth. In bygone years when my wife drove the school van, she had five stops to make in picking up children. So, it was essential to follow a precise schedule to be on time. Not that it can never change, but we need to have a scheduled time for our personal devotions. If we don’t, it likely will not happen. We also need to have a set time and place for family worship. How punctual are you for church services? It is much more relaxing and reverent to leave early, arrive early, and spend moments in quiet meditation rather than arrive just in time and be exhausted when it’s time for the service to begin.
As we are punctual in these areas of life, we will receive blessings. Let all things be done decently and in order (1Co 14:40). God is a God of order, and He desires the same for His children. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
We have several examples of punctual people. In Genesis 12, Abraham was asked to leave his father’s house. He made plans to leave immediately and departed. Genesis 22 tells how he prepared and left early in the morning to go and offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not hesitate to answer the king. Instead, they promptly told the king they didn’t need a second chance because they had understood him the first time. Their minds were set on serving God, no matter what would happen. Because of their faith, they received a double blessing. God came down to them in the fiery furnace and saved their lives. Also, the king promoted them in his kingdom. (Dan 3).
Tardiness stands in contrast to the virtue of punctuality and has its effects as well. Jonah tried to run away from God by getting on a ship going the opposite direction from Nineveh. He was the cause of a violent storm while at sea, thus causing him to be thrown overboard. Once overboard, the sea became calm and quiet. Because of this, the men on the ship feared the Lord exceedingly, offered a sacrifice, and made vows.
In Matthew 25:1-13, the five foolish virgins missed the wedding because they were not prepared with extra oil for their lamps.
We, as parents, need to realize the importance of being prompt or punctual. If we fail in the area, it affects not only our lives but also the lives of our children. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not; to him it is sin. (Jas 4:17). If our children can get by with tardiness, it is possible that they may try it with God when He calls them to serve Him. The Bible says, Now is the day of Salvation. If a child has reached an accountable age and is tardy to God’s calling, he may miss heaven.
May God bless us as we faithfully, willingly, and promptly serve Him. He’s coming soon! Are you ready?