“Do you have any idea what time it is?” this marking the third rhetorical question to my son in the last five minutes.

‘Yes, mom, I know what time it is,” this marking his third calm and breezy response.

Meanwhile, the clock shows Mass starts in 15 minutes and we are a seventeen-minute drive away, which doesn’t take into consideration the three minutes needed to load all five of us in the car because someone forgot a coat, needs to pee, or can’t find a Kleenex. Not to mention the potential added delay of having to jump out of car and survey damage caused by careening into the door frame when backing out at 25 mph.

Yet, Mr. Slow and Steady is still brushing with Crest as if every tooth needs quality one-on-one time.

A seething stream of unspoken dialogue bristles through my head. “Listen, bub, a cavity is going to be the least of your problems. I may be going to hell for my impatience, but, you? You! I don’t even know what, but it will be bad. Bad. God is sick. God is tired. God is sick and tired of you causing us to be late for the millionth time. How do I know? I just do.”

Never mind the other stream of dialogue whispering through my mind telling me otherwise. You know—conscience. I don’t have time to ponder mystical words.

Yet, Spirit speaks anyway, “Oh my, dear one. God is not in the business of being sick and tired of his beloved children’s actions. Saddened? Yes. And what leaves Him forlorn about your situation is your lack of patience. He didn’t create people to embrace such aggravation. Time is relative. Love always trumps promptness. Perhaps someday soon you will learn this lesson.”

Pff. Who has time for contemplative prayer? We can’t even get to Church on time to muster ANY prayer! Apparently, God reminds us somewhere in the Bible that patience is a virtue. I just don’t have time to look up the verse.

How many of you can relate to the onslaught of satan’s attacks prior to attending Church? Most of you have experienced the unfortunate truth that every conceivable intrusion and barrier preventing a prompt arrival for worshiping the Lord will happen:

Oversleeping, four-hour shower fests, and can’t find my other shoe sagas. Or, one of my favorites, the infamous let me grab a quick snack to take in the car because I’m starving—eggs, bacon, peeled and stringy stuff removed orange, and bottle filled with water and ice. And we can’t forget the, “I still need to poop”, proclamations or tedious arguments over proper clothing.

In the midst of the chaos, a barrage of parental, “We’re going to be late people!” outbursts echo off the walls like gunfire. You have to wonder what goes through God’s all-observing mind.

I can tell you what’s going through mine. How about this for starters: Do kids have any clue the grueling nature of anger multi-tasking? Like having to speed walk into Church with a fake smile of content and audacious holiness plastered on our face while underwear jams up our backside from angst and forced shallow breathing needed to reign in our flared nostrils engulfs us in a lightheaded tizzy?

Oh, the charades we pull off to put on a show for the other parishioners already sitting peaceful and serene in their seats. And the Oscar goes to…every mom on the planet!

Exhausting.

Are we wrong for hoping, perhaps just once, we can get to Church on time, which is five minutes late to begin with? Is being on time important? Who gives a dirty diaper in the grand scheme of things?

Not God. For sure not our kids.

Time is relative, kids get this and we don’t. As adults, we often act as if one more tick off the clock means Armageddon is upon us. Why? What wires me us to scurry through life like ants making a bee line to the nearest candy drop?

I’m still dissecting this question and working on living life at a slower pace. God made the point of teaching me that kids are 24/7 streaming TED Talks—Time-tested, Entertaining, Direct counseling sessions. Have you considered your kin to be such valued procurers of ideas worth spreading?

If you have free therapy lessons built into your family dynamic, why not take advantage of the perk? Why pay for a shrink (I do, but just sayin…) when you can ponder the deepest recesses of your soul in the comfort of your own home, on repeat?

The truth is, I learned patience through my kids in chunks. Some seasons better than others—especially when I started to mature, which was last week. So, I better look up the scripture:

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”Galatians 5:23 (NLT)

Kids happen to know a thing or two which is why God gifts us with their presence: to point out massive flaws in our character. Quite a fantastical return on investment. You can start reaping the benefits of such a reward by learning the value of patience from your kiddos. The Holy Spirit works through their precious hearts to help us bear a more beautiful fruit.

Too bad learning the lesson about being late took me 23 years of parenting, but who’s counting?

So, can I suggest something to all young moms dizzying through life in a rush and allowing delays to upend your day?

Breathe. Enjoy. Wonder. Breathe some more. Tomorrow comes no matter what. Enjoy the present moment no matter how many tocks circle around.

Tarry on, crazy Mommas!

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-three years. On her blog she shares with readers an open book of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys. Shelby is currently working on her first book.