Procrastination.

25 05 2010

The longer I wait the worse it gets; true of so many things.

When I put something off, does it actually make anything better? It delays the inevitable, but it also can make “the inevitable” harder than it needs to be, even if it is just harder on me. I can make life painful for myself.

When I procrastinate, I use up valuable mental/emotional energy stewing over the thing I have to do but am not doing. When I procrastinate, I can distract myself, but the shadow of the task looms. I go to bed with a cocktail of anxieties, knowing the thing I should have tackled is still staring at me.

I don’t like dread. I don’t like fearing and avoiding. I don’t like it when life feels like an accumulation of unfinished business. Realistically, every day can’t be a clean slate without any backlog, but when I procrastinate, it is like I am inviting “pressure” to to sit on my lap.

Proverbs 6:1-5 (from the Bible) is all about dealing with life as it happens and not procrastinating. If something needs fixing, don’t delay, fix it. If you don’t you will regret it. As in the case of this proverb, sometimes we make decisions that we later regret but feel trapped by. The advice: swallow your pride, go explain your situation, see if you can’t make an alternate arrangement. Most important:

“Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.”

“Save yourself!” that line just jumps out at me. I usually don’t think procrastinating will bring harm to me, but I wonder if more often than I know, God is trying to get through my thick skull, practically shouting, “Would you take care of it already? Things would go so much better if you did!” Physically better; emotionally better; spiritually better.

There is a line in a movie (Vanilla Sky) that stuck with me long after I watched it: “Every day is a chance to turn it all around.” Is that true? Yes, it is. That is the beauty of second chances (and third sometimes), and forgiveness, and hope. I think that is really the message of Jesus Christ. His Wisdom calls out to me that I can change and things can change and if I will only give Him today, then change will start today.

I do think that we have a chance today to choose wisely, to land somewhere good, and take a new and better path, to seek and actually find. But mostly, we wonder about it; mostly, we dream of the alternate endings without living them.

— Teresa Klassen

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