Better Late than Never

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#119: “Better Late than Never”
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Matthew 25:1-13

1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9"'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'

13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

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Better Late than Never

“Better Late than Never” is episode #119 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on July 14, 1990.


Robyn Jacobs has developed a habit for being fashionably late, but gets a taste of what life would be like if her tardiness turned into an epidemic.



Robyn Jacobs is always late. Everyone knows it, especially the kids at Whit's End. They're gathered there, waiting for Robyn to show up so they can leave for a roller-skating trip that Connie is going to chaperone. Finally, Connie decides to leave. She yells for the kids to hop in the bus outside. Then she tells Whit to inform Robyn that they got tired of waiting. Connie adds that if Robyn isn't on time for the volleyball tournament the next day, she's off the team.

They leave, Robyn shows up, and Whit delivers Connie's message. Robyn makes all sorts of empty excuses for her tardiness, but finally realizes that it really is her fault. At home, her father agrees and says that habitual lateness is downright rude. Later, a depressed Robyn falls asleep in front of the television and has a terrible nightmare. She meets Rod Serly and takes a trip into the Twilife Zone! There, she is late for every important event in her life — even her funeral! She wakes up from the nightmare in a cold sweat, determined not to be late for anything again. Especially for the next day's volleyball tournament.

But getting there the next morning proves to be its own real-life Twilife Zone. First, her parents oversleep. Then, her dad's car won't start. Robyn takes off on her bicycle and gets a flat tire. She cuts across a neighbor's backyard and is chased by a ferocious dog into the woods, where she falls in a creek. Just then, Whit drives past. Robyn hops into Whit's car, but when he steps on the gas, it, too, dies!

At the school, Connie is just about to boot Robyn from the game when Robyn walks in — wrinkled, disheveled, and soaked, but ready to play volleyball! The kids cheer. Later at Whit's End, the team has a grand celebration. Robyn's team lost, but more importantly, she showed up on time.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it so rude to be late?
  2. What could Robyn have done to break her bad habit of always being tardy?
  3. Read Matthew 25:1-13. How does Jesus feel about tardiness?



  • The "Miss Beautiful America Pageant" from Robyn's dreams is a play on the name of the Miss America pageant.



Robyn Jacobs: I don't want to be late for anything ever again!

Robyn Jacobs: Let's play volleyball!

Dale Jacobs: Chicken pot pie... Turkey pot pie... The new meatloaf pot pie... Meatloaf pot pie? Ew...

Robyn Jacobs: Mom is late for things. She says it's fashionable!

Robyn Jacobs: Why does everything have to echo in dreams?... echo in dreams... echo in dreams... echo in dreams.

Connie Kendall: We're waiting for Robyn.
John Whittaker: Robyn? You mean Robyn Jacobs?
Connie Kendall: Who else?

Robyn Jacobs: I don't have trouble being punctual. It's being on time that's my problem.

Dale Jacobs: You need to learn to be—
Robyn Jacobs: Punctuated. I know, Dad. Mr. Whittaker just talked to me about it.