Shirley's Corner - Minding The Three "P's" Part Three
“Don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow!”
This is the mantra of the PROCRASTINATOR, and then tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes next month. How many unfinished projects are lying around in a drawer or in the garage waiting to be finished when you get ‘time’? Got any clothes at your house that can’t be worn until you sew up a rip or replace a button as soon as you get ‘time’? How about that ‘catch all’ space that you plan to clean and organize as soon as you get ‘time’?
Time is not the real culprit in PROCRASTINATION. Each of us have the same amount of precious time. Twenty-four hours is plenty of time to accomplish all the Lord would have us do in a day. If it wasn’t, He would have designed a thirty hour day or a forty hour day. You are not going to get anymore time, so it has to be budgeted, just like money.
There are lots of reasons we PROCRASTINATE, but today, let’s just talk about three.
Let’s focus on indecision, inability and excuses. These three will stop us in our tracks each time we try to move forward.
First, let's look at Indecision.
Some of us have difficulty in making decisions. Therefore, most of our life hangs in limbo as we stand with one foot in the air, not sure which direction we want to go. Sit down with the Lord and let Him help you define His purpose for your existence here on earth and flesh out your responsibilities in order to achieve that purpose. I know it seems off to tell a PROCRASTINATOR to sit down, but it’s crucial to overcoming this destructive habit.
He has given each of us different assignments, different circumstances, and He is the ‘efficiency expert’ in your unique life. In a practical vein, look at every project you have started--is it worth the time you will spend to finish it? If so, make it a priority, and set aside time to get it done. If not, pitch it, give it away, get it out of the house so it can’t steal anymore of your precious time and energy.
Are you overcommitted?
Have you said ‘YES” to too many people and taken on too many responsibilities?
Have you overestimated your ability, energy and prior responsibilities?
Let the Lord establish your priorities in your season of life, and start laying down those things He hasn’t called you to do. Accept the fact that you aren’t Wonder Woman, and you can’t be part of everything that presents itself. Ask these critical questions:
- Will this help me reach my God-given priorities?
- Will it cost my family if I take this one?
- Did God ask me to do this?
- Is it a “God thing” or a “good thing”?
Force yourself to prayerfully make decisions and move on.
Secondly, let’s talk about Inability.
Even if you are multi-gifted, you can’t do everything. God deliberately made us to need one another – it’s called interdependence, rather than independence. I bought a jacket that I loved on sale (plus I had a coupon). However, the sleeves are too long. That first season I wore it with the sleeves covering most of my hands, constantly pulling and tugging at it. This year, in an effort to save money, I tried to simply turn the sleeve hems under to shorten them. It looks terrible because it has a lining that is all bunched up. I spent most of a day trying to ‘fix’ it. I have not worn that jacket yet this season because it needs to be sewn correctly. After PROCRASTINATING for weeks, I finally took that jacket to the cleaners to have it altered so I can enjoy wearing it. The alteration will cost $20 from a seamstress to spend half a day or so making it look right. She had me try the jacket on and pinned each sleeve to make sure they touched the top of my thumbs. We discovered one of my arms is longer than the other, so one sleeve has to be cut off at least three-quarters of an inch shorter than the other. If I had faced my inability to solve this problem instead of PROCRASTINATING, I could have been wearing that jacket instead of looking at it taking up space in my closet! Accept your inabilities and get the help you need rather than PROCRASTINATING and stewing over things you can’t fix.
Third, let's look at our Excuses.
Each of us PROCRASTINATORS come pre-programmed with excuses, rather than reasons why we put off doing things.
>>‘I’m going to do the laundry but first I’m going to get a snack.’
>>Over the years I gained 15 pounds using this excuse!
>>How about, ‘I’m just not in the mood to do that today.’
>>Then there is always my favorite – ‘I just ran out of time, but it’s on my “TO DO” list, so I’ll get around to it…sometime.
When two of my grandchildren were small their mother sent them to clean their rooms. Alex picked up his toys and was ready to play. As he came into the hallway he looked up at Rachel, who was sitting on her bed surveying the mess and sighing. In typical make fashion, he took one look at her and said, ‘Just do it, Wachel! Just do it!’
At a wedding in Cana hundreds of years ago, Mary, the mother of Jesus, spoke to the servants there and exhorted them, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Today, get rid of all your excuses, and whatever He says to you--do it!
With love from my chair at the Harvest Table,
Book Recommendation: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
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