“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”  Hosea 10:12

Have you ever shown up late to a meeting?

The secretary shared my professor was available 10 to 11. I arrived on campus ahead of time, so I decided to visit with a friend. When we saw the prof walk on campus, we agreed he was done with class early. So I headed to his office.

When I arrived, he glanced at the clock, then looked at me.

“You’re late.” I could tell he was irritated.

“Late?” I questioned, “I’m 15 minutes early!” I exclaimed.

“Early?!” He echoed.

I explained: “Yes, your secretary told me you would be available 10 to 11.”

He looked puzzled.

I repeated: “10 to 11.”

My Professor, stared at the clock, then blinked a few times.

“10:50.” I rephrased.

His eyes opened wide, turning to me he deciphered: “10 minutes to 11!”

“Yes.” I agreed.

“Your appointment was 10 o’clock to 11 o’clock.” He stated flatly.

“What?” I asked, then realized the confusion.

He did not waste anymore time. Looking at the binder I was holding in my hands he said, “Show me what you got.”

Misunderstandings, they happen all the time. How you react hinders or helps.

My Professor and I could have spent the little time he had arguing over semantics. He, feeling “disrespected by my tardiness”, could have dismissed our meeting. He could have insisted I was wrong and I misunderstood the meeting time.

On the other hand, I could have claimed I was right. I could have defended myself to cover my embarrassment or my disappointment in missing the session.

Instead of allowing disgust to hinder our relationship, he chose to accept an honest mistake and move toward the task at hand. Instead of feeling humiliated, I chose to get to the heart of my project, then I listen to his advice. We both squeezed the life out of the few minutes we had.

How do you react to misunderstandings? Do you squeeze the life out of the few minutes you have? Or are you stunned and full of scorn? If you spend precious time arguing your perspective your stubbornness will steal valuable moments. Moments that are better spent accomplishing a common goal.

In the end, your perception doesn’t really matter. The question is:  Will you choose to “stand your ground”, hindering future growth? Or “break new ground”, helping plant seeds together?

My prof had great points to offer in the 10 minutes we did meet. Because of that time, I was able to spend hours implementing his ideas into Undivided Heart. When I was ready to meet again, I called his office.

“Would you like to meet with him next week?” The secretary asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

“He has an opening on Wednesday from 10 o’clock to 11 o’clock. Will that work for you?

“Yes, …yes, that works for me!”