／Evelyn O. Shih
One Sunday morning, I finished eating my breakfast, changed to my Sunday best, and waited leisurely for the time to go to Church.
When the time came to leave, I got in the car. Then I noticed that the clock in the car was 9:17. What? Wasn't 9 O'clock the scheduled time for the service, and I was still here? I started the car right away and sped to my destination. In the meantime, I prayed aloud frantically: "Lord, I am late. What can I do now? Please stop the time and keep me safe on the way."
The route usually took 20-minutes, but I arrived there in 9 minutes. I jumped out of my car and rushed to the chapel. I handed my car key to a lady beside the door and asked her to park my car legally. Right then I heard the announcement: Now is the time for the sermon.
I walked straight to the pulpit without being one second late. Later I found out that they had held a special 'membership transferal' ceremony that day, so the sermon time was delayed. Even though I had arrived just in time, the Pastor saw my red face and heard me gasping for breath, he announced: "let's sing two more verses of the hymn we just sang before we listen to the sermon."
Nobody knew my agony except the Pastor and the chairman. They had worried and prayed hard for me, because I used to be present half an hour beforehand, so they were sure that I had experienced some big trouble.
I should have felt relieved afterwards, right? yet I was not. I hated myself so much that I could not feel easy for even one minute. I thought I had committed an unforgivable crime although people said that things like that happened quite frequently. Furthermore, I was not late, the Lord had answered my prayer.
After 24 hours' lingering of self - hatred, the Lord rebuked me plainly: "You can't forgive yourself because you are too proud. You can't make any mistakes like others, you think you should be perfect."
I knelt down before Him and thanked Him for pointing out my hidden sin. I felt relieved at once and I started to tell others my agony as a funny joke. Praise the Lord!