Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Procrastination Is Making Me Wait, Keeping Me Waiting

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

It occasionally strikes me that I have been waiting ‘til the last minute to do things again. I’ve made a commitment to do this, write that, speak here, go there, and I’ve wasted precious time before addressing the commitment. When we wait until the very last minute to start on the way to an appointment, we often find that we’re not prepared for the flat tire, the wreck just ahead, or the road construction that was supposed to be completed two days ago. We walk into the meeting late with an apology hanging on the tip of our tongue.

I plead guilty once again, for those few who have begun reading here. A few weeks ago, our ministerial alliance group divided the next several months (beginning with August) with the goal that each of us would post at least one devotional thought a week. I missed last week. Mea culpa, pardon moi, I’m so sorry. But doesn’t that illustrate what we all do all of the time—put it off until we’ve either missed the opportunity or turn in a shoddy, half-hearted attempt at the job? Of course, while the idea of “there is a time to wait and a time to go” included in the preacher’s words from Ecclesiastes 3, the assumption of “there is a time to put it off and a time to ‘git ‘r done’” doesn’t quite foot the bill.

Franklin suggested, “Why wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today?” We often turn it into, “Why do to day what you can put off until tomorrow?” There is a time for everything, and the time is now to do what we have committed to do.

Lord of all time, help me to use wisely the time you have given me. Thank you for the time to work, to play, and to live. Help me to be faithful to the commitments I have made.

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