She looked at her watch again. The tenth time in the last few minutes.
"When will they stop talking about this? We have business we need to get to and I have barely enough time to the next place if we end on time."
With these thoughts circling in her mind, she began looking for a place to jump in and get the conversation onto the reason why they had all planned to gather at that time. She wasn't listening to the words being said - she had no idea they had a good reason for not getting right to business. She was just looking for a long enough pause to take control of this conversation.
Finally, she found her place.
"We really need to get down to business. We have some things we need to discuss and we only have a short time to do that."
Oblivious to the fact that one of the people in the room was dealing with a personal crisis and the others had been trying to help, she just pushed on and started in on the agenda. Not even an acknowledgement of the other person's situation because she didn't even notice.
Everyone reluctantly got on with the business and then left. She hurried off to her next meeting.
Later that day, she was sitting in her office wondering why she felt like she was on the outside of any further conversation with people in the office. It almost seemed as if they were avoiding her.
She finally took the time to reflect on her interactions that day.
The meeting this morning - the one where they'd all been having a conversation about something and she'd just been focused on getting through the agenda. Had she missed something there?
They'd all seemed shocked when she just pushed on to the agenda the second she found a break to jump in. Maybe that was because she's interrupted something else that was important too. They had needed to get onto business. But, maybe she could have handled that transition better?
Maybe if she'd been listening instead of just watching the clock she would have noticed. Maybe it would have been as simple as acknowledging whatever the other conversation was about and how important it seemed to be to others in the room before explaining that they really needed to get on with the agenda of the meeting.
She realized she had some work to do. Some colleagues to talk to, apologies to make. She'd missed something important.
She had another thought . . .
What if part of the problem was how tightly packed her schedule was, so that it didn't leave any room for life? What if her constant hurry was part of the problem? What if things needed to be changed so she had room in her schedule for people rather than just pushing through everything?
Sometimes we create schedules that are so jam-packed with things we don't have room for life to happen. We need everything to go exactly according to plan so that we can get it all done.
But, what if, in our hurry, we're missing out on what God has for us? What if we're missing the people God wants us to see? And the conversations God wants us to have?
Maybe we need to look at our calendars and allow for space for relationship.