Procrastinators Unite! Later
by Rhonda Rhea
I think I told you I’m a procrastinator, right? The good news is I’m pretty sure I now have my plan in place for dealing with Y2K.
The other day I was pondering my reasons for procrastinating. And by “pondering my reasons,” I actually mean “coming up with my excuses.” How about these:
- This may look like procrastination, but I’m actually watching for butterflies.
- I wouldn’t be procrastinating if I didn’t have to sort, measure and weigh all these butterflies.
- I wouldn’t be procrastinating except that now I seem to have run out of butterflies.
- I’m not procrastinating, you are.
- I was forced into procrastination because I felt the need to come up with a list of good reasons to procrastinate.
On the less fluttery side of procrastination, when does it become wrong?
James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (ESV). Ouch. Are there ever things I know I should do that I put off? I wish I could answer differently, but the answer is oh my yes.
It’s strange because I can even be excited about some wonderful Kingdom task the Lord has opened the door for me to do, and still find myself putting it off. Usually because there are at least some aspects of it that are difficult. Or boring. Or just not as entertaining as my fluttering distraction of the moment.
Yet God’s Word is clear that laziness is a place of emptiness while diligence is rewarded. “The slacker craves, yet has nothing, but the diligent is fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4, HCSB).
Sometimes putting off what we’re supposed to do is not so much about laziness as it is about fear. Is there something you feel God might be calling you to do that leaves your palms a little sweaty? A few of those butterflies congregating in your stomach, maybe? Instead of letting fear become a fluttering distraction, we can let it remind us that we can’t accomplish anything of worth on our own anyway. Our fears can cause us to lean harder into Jesus, finding everything we need in His presence, trusting fully in His strength. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:10, HCSB). And seriously, is there anything your Heavenly Father will ever call you to do that He won’t first empower you to do? So then what’s to fear?
Whether it’s laziness, fear or any other assorted butterflies hindering us from digging in to the work the Lord has called us to do, there’s one sure remedy. It’s trust. As we focus on His trustworthiness, all the shiny distractions are revealed to be the dull interruptions they actually are. When we trust fully in our God of strength, we understand all the way to the heart that there is nothing to fear. It’s at that point of full trust that our path to fulfilling His calling becomes crystal clear. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).
Trust your way to a life that accomplishes great things in His name, flying high on the wings of His strength. There’s no better way to fly. And no butterfly to weigh.