Then & Now - Week of June 25

The Opportunity I Won’t Get Back
Ephesians 5:16

It was my first year in college and I had an important job interview with a Ramada Inn close to our house. I really wanted this job as desk clerk. I thought dressing up in a suite and handing out keys was pretty cool.

I had an 11 am morning meeting, which meant I had to drive 6 hours back to Chicago from downstate Illinois. I was travelling with some guys at a Christian school convention, cheering on my alma mater. I had the timing worked out perfectly. I would check out of my hotel very early and drive back to Chicago and have like thirty minutes to spare.

But the night before I stayed up too late and in the morning I overslept. I rushed back and, believe it or not, I was able to pull into the driveway of the hotel by 11:10.

I felt pretty good, I’m only ten minutes late. Maybe their clocks are off and they’ll think I’m on-time.

I walked into the lobby of the hotel, adjusted my tie, brushed some lint off of my suite and asked for the manager. I told them I had an 11 am appointment.

I waited what seemed like forever. Two minutes later the receptionist returned and said, “The manager just informed me that the interview is over and the position is no longer available to you, because you were late.”

That was it. No more talk. I blew the opportunity.

I remember that day like it was yesterday, because it burnished something in my mind. The Bible tells us to “redeem the time,” (Ephesians 5:16). I communicated to this hotel manager that I was sloppy, immature, and didn’t care.

I can’t stress this enough to young people. Maturity matters. Being on time matters. Caring matters.

We live in a culture that says goofing off, immaturity, and not caring are actually cool things. And sometimes even the people who love you the most won’t make you grow up. They’ll tell you it’s okay to be late, to live sloppily, and to blow off life as if its unimportant.

But sooner or later it will catch up to you. It did for me that day at the Ramada Inn.

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at, or check out his website:

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