Ira Ricketts was traveling to meet an important client one day and realized he forgot to turn the coffee maker off when he left the house. At this point, he was close to his destination and his realization meant if he turned the car around so he could check the coffee maker, he would be late for his appointment. His dilemma created within him a frustrating conversation between his conscientiousness to prevent the house from burning down and his ever-present need to be punctual.
Seeing an opportunity, at that moment two little young imps appeared ready to prove themselves. One propped on the dashboard and one sat erect in the passenger seat. These two little devil apprentices engaged in a brief but terse exchange about which one would succeed in frustrating Ira the most.
Each set about attempting to convince Ira one choice was more important than the other. The first imp said to Ira, "Don't worry about the coffee maker. I'm sure you turned it off. It's not a problem that you doubt yourself. Everything will be fine. Keep going so you don't miss your appointment."
The second imp took his turn and said, "You have been late before. Being on time is not that big of a deal. I'm sure your client will wait until you get there. No one will think less of you even if you are an hour late."
And quietly observing all this was another little imp, older, wiser, more seasoned, an imp by the name of Time.
Time knew such a small dilemma as Ira was engaged was not enough to cause him any real fault. He knew in this situation to remain on the sideline and wait until a greater, more eternal problem arose. Amused by the young imps' attempts, Time smiled a beguiling smile and planted a thought in Ira's mind.
Ira knew intellectually the right choice. He reasoned he was free to choose, and besides, didn't time belong to him? But his reasoning did not appease his frustration. He didn't want to lose the day. In a sudden second, he turned the car around and went home. He thought, "If I hurry, I will not lose too much time and make my appointment within reasonable acceptability."
Verging on indifference, Time watched with great patience as he had witnessed this all before. After all, he had lived long. He gave the two virgin imps space to learn their craft. Soon, he would be able to teach the little imps.
Time knew Ira's problem was just a preparation designed to weaken his resistance.
Time had other plans for Ira that only needed the right conditions.
He knew if Ira could be weakened in small things, there would be a good chance he would bend to temptation in larger things. The wise old imp wanted Ira to believe he not only owned his time, but he had a right to it.
"Those who have ears to hear, let them hear" (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).
Continued next week ...