I read a story this week about a guy who goes to the house where he grew up and knocks on the door. Because he hadn't been there for 20 years, he finds himself getting sentimental. He asks the owners if he can walk through the house, and they let him. While in the attic, he finds an old jacket of his.
He puts it on, reaches into the pocket, and pulls out a stub. It's a receipt from a shoe repair shop. He realizes he had taken a pair of shoes there twenty years ago, and in the midst of the move, he had never picked them up.
On a whim he decides to go to the shoe repair shop. Just to be funny, he takes the receipt out and hands it to the guy behind the desk, saying, "Are my shoes ready?" The guy goes back to the workroom for a minute, comes back to the counter, and says, "Come back a week from Thursday."
That's the mind of the procrastinator; they're always saying, "A week from Thursday."
H. Jackson Brown, author of Life's Little Instruction Book, once said, "Where there is a hill to climb, don't think that waiting will make it any smaller."
Waiting, in fact, tends to give hills the time they need to become mountains. For every challenge that becomes manageable by benefit of procrastination, 99 just get bigger.
There are items that are on everyone's to-do list this week that won't get done. Things important but not urgent. They won't get done because that dreadful, demanding, take-no-prisoners last minute hasn't confronted us yet. But you know and I know these items could have been -- and should have been -- marked off the list.
Elbert Hubbard said that postponement is the father of failure.
It's also the best friend of mediocrity. The things that we postpone most often are the things that define the line between surviving and thriving -- the things that mark the difference between eeking out an ordinary existence and experiencing the fullness of an abundant life.
This includes getting serious about a closer walk with Christ, following through on a ministry opportunity, putting a business idea into action; taking steps live a healthier lifestyle, making an effort to strengthen a struggling relationship.
The only thing that stands between you and God's blessing in any of these areas is moving ahead - now. The sooner you move, the sooner God can step in and do His thing.
Joshua once asked the people of Israel, "How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?" He then outlined a simple action plan to follow for their progress.
His idea worked.
Maybe we should follow Joshua's example. You might have 50 things nagging you right now; there's no way you can get to all of them this week, but you can knock out one or two.
Take a look at your list. Which items represent a "possession" that you are certain God wants you to take -- a victory you are certain he wants you to claim? Put it at the top of your list this week. Scratch out an action plan that moves you in this direction.
And then, take the first step.
Waiting won't make the hill any smaller, but start moving in its direction, and you'll discover the hill doesn't look nearly as big up close as it did from a distance.
Do you procrastinate? I'm more in line with the theory, "whatever thou doest, doeth now."
Timing is everything, I'll grant you that, but most of them time, that time is now.
Now is the time to minister. Now is the time to join the choir. Now is the time to teach a bible class. Now is the time to begin thinking about joining a small group this fall. Now is the time to begin reading your Bible on a daily basis. Now is the time to communicate with God every day. Now is the time to give and receive forgiveness. Now is the time to release that bitterness and anger. Now is the time to take it one “day at a time.” Now is the time!
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