03 June 2014

The Perils of Procrastination

Well, I promised this post to my
 friends on Facebook.




Back in May. 





There was a very good reason for that post. 

 I had been trying to order senior photos 
before my daughter's high school graduation.... and I went to bed at 4am. 

I was exhausted and nearly hysterical because I had some problems getting the really cool technology at my fingertips to work properly.... plus... 

I wanted to fix some photos and was trying to learn PhotoshopCC in one night. 
 I don't recommend that to anyone.

Procrastination is Perilous.

There are obvious reasons that you, no doubt,
 have already thought of....
and there are others, 
which are more insidious.

The most obvious reason not to put off something important is that it may never get done.  
Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you 
and even when you have everything planned,
 if there are no buffer days included, 
you might be standing empty-handed and undone.  

If you are the one that others are depending upon, it can be so much worse in so many ways. Integrity is lost. 
 Relationships suffer.  
Your confidence plummets.  
And why? 

All because you thought 
you would get around to it later. 
 Only later.....
steadily marching onward
 a step at a time.... 
seems to sneak up on you and ready-or-not,
 here it is..... 
and you are not ready.



Or....
You sacrifice many important things 
just to get done.....
or sorta done.....
or done sorta well......
in time.


Total exhaustion.



Frayed nerves.


Hot tempers.



Tears.



You name it... "whatever"....will happen. 
 Websites won't upload your photos. 
 Shipping will cost too much. 
 People will see the unfinished work
 regardless of your embarrassment.



It was the senior photos that
 I was writing about on Facebook. 
The photos we took back in October
of her senior year of high school. 

 We even had a planning day in September to scout out the area and shoot trial photos.  
We spent an evening and the following morning in October to do the photos....
and then, 
they went into the computer 
and stayed there.


That was very well planned of me....
to do them early.  
This daughter is the fifth of my children
 to graduate high school. 
 We were taking senior pics of my oldest child the week of his graduation.  

So, I have learned, yes?


Well.... I had time, see?  

Although, I was able to find a great company and upload photos and get them back quickly with minimal shipping costs, 
that was not the only thing that was happening around me that involved procrastination. 

 I wanted to make a scrapbook. 
 I have made others.  
I spent a week trying to find photos to go into it... for 17 years of her life....ahem.  

That was a project that I could not pull out of my magician hat and I felt like I had let her down. 
 I will make the scrapbook. 
 Maybe, we will do it together.
  But, I wanted it for graduation...
 which was
 the last day of May.

When we finally got around to sending out invitations, 
which was about two weeks later than I'd planned .....because, sometimes grandchildren don't care what your other plans are, 
and they decide to be born 
at their own convenience, 

I realized that in my "planning" way back in March when I ordered everything for graduation,
 I purchased formal invitations 
which nowadays are not really needed.  

We made a photo collage card to invite people to the grad party and could easily have put the graduation information on it.  
I angrily thought, "See! The one time I do something in advance, I ended up wasting money on double postage and invitations."



Let me tell you something.....
 I am a creative type of person.  
I am also a person who doesn't like to plan on paper unless the occasion calls for it. 

 Adoptions, weddings, graduations..... 
these events call for paper planning.  
I do it. 
 I can even do it well. 
 But, I am not a natural administrator
 or event planner. 
 I get very stressed about it. 


I want to make everything perfect.  

Me. 
 A very imperfect person
 wants to make a perfect event.

And events.....even important events......
are never about the event.  

They are always,  always....about the people.




I have let others down by procrastinating. 
 I have let myself down. 

Planning to do things is not the
 "doing of the thing".  

You lose out if you let things go too long.
  You lose joy and perspective and health. 

Sure, some of us can really ride the 
adrenaline-high and crank out such creativity
 that we'd never have known existed if we'd plodded along, 
because, 
plodding is not our style.....
but sometimes, it has to be. 

 Sometimes, it needs to be.

There is a very important danger with some types of procrastination that
 I feel the need to warn you about.  
And because all things physical reflect all things spiritual, 
I think it is necessary to explain it.

I think that we put things off 
to prove to ourselves that we can.  
What I mean is, 
we think that we have all the time in the world.  That we are in control of our time.... 
in control of our lives.  

We are responsible, yes.  
 In control?  
No.

Time is not infinite. 
 Time had a beginning.
  It will have an ending.  
Time is placed in the continuum of Eternity, 
which is beyond my comprehension. 

 Things either happened in the past
 or they are happening now.  

Things don't really happen in the future for us, because we are not in the future. 
 We never will be.
  When we get to what we call Future, 
it will be the Present.

  The only Person who can see the end from the beginning is God, 
because He transcends time.
 He exists outside of time. 
 He is not held by it. 

 Jesus Christ, God in Flesh, 
chose to be held by the bonds of time for a season.  He physically walked and talked
 and  ate and slept 
in our seven-days-a-week time which, 
by the way, He created. 

He did that to show us how to do it. 

 He did it to die and rise again to release us from the bondage of sin and to free us into eternity.
  It was settled in Eternity "Past" and 
lived out in Time.

The Bible says that,"...at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly". romans 5:6 niv

We know, certainly, 
that our own lives will end.  
We hope we will live 80 or so years, 
but we are never promised it will be so. 

 I was stunned recently by news of the sudden death of a very young husband 
and soon-to-be father.  

Yet, I am comforted by the words of the Psalmist. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before they came to be." 
psalms 139:16 niv



So the point is this: 
 We don't really have
 "all the time in the world", 
do we?  

Psalms 95 tells us, "Today if you hear [God's] voice, do not harden you heart...." 
 psalms95:7-8 niv

If you are wondering if God is real.... 
 if He cares......  
if He really loves you..... 
 realize that He is the One who is calling you.  

The time to listen......
to heed....
the Word of God is now.  
 Today. 
  This moment.
  You are not promised tomorrow.


Christian, that thing you keep putting off? 
 It is time to deal with it. 
 We are not promised tomorrow either. 

 Standing before the Lord, giving an account for the time that He has given us, is not the place where all those excuses for putting things off 
will be acceptable. 
Embarrassment will seem unimportant
 by comparison.  


We have been given directives for our assignments no matter our tendency to be a plodder or to be spontaneous. We can apply the verse, 

" But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

1 corinthians 14:40 niv

Stop. 
 Pray for clarity and direction. 
 Go forward about His business. 
 We may not think that our assignments have hard deadlines, but they do. 
 Children grow up and move on.
  Opportunities are missed. 
 Blessings are left unnoticed 
in the stress and frustration instead of
 embraced and enjoyed.  

We know that, "God is not a God of disorder but of peace." 1corinthians 14:33 niv

It is important to remember this truth,
 especially when the days get really crazy,
 and perhaps next time,
 I won't find my way to bed at 4am 
after several emotional meltdowns over 
ordering senior photographs.









4 comments:

  1. Deborah, first let me say I am one of seven children so I fear for your sanity..LOL! I The point you made about the us never reaching the future is very insightful. It does indeed make me realize that today, the present is all that I have. The charge to live in that present, is definitely lived out in scripture. I think of Jesus speaking to many about just that, but especially the rich young ruler, who was unable to rise to the occasion. Will I? I've heard said that the plan is nothing but planning is everything. My take is that we have to be in tune with both planning & spontaneity, since we never know how our 'plan' will actually play out. Versatility is paramount. Thanks for the challenge.

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    Replies
    1. Very true words, Rodney. And if having seven children doesn't teach a person to be flexible, then I don't know what would do it. I'm thankful to know that no matter what my plan, God directs my steps. And learning to live in this very moment is an ongoing challenge to me.

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  2. Deborah, we have ALL been there at one time or another. I love the verse from Psalm "Today if you hear from God, do not harden your heart..." He has our best interests at heart, and while we don't, He has all the time in the world. So today as I procrastinate writing my own blog to read yours, I'm encouraged to get right back and "do the thing!" ;-)

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