The high cost of neglect is motivating for us former procrastinators. The consequences of not having done what needed doing when it needed doing are unpleasant, embarrassing, and expensive. (Please see The Cost of Neglect, May 30, 2016, and The Cost of Neglect Up Close, June 6, 2016.) Let’s continue with my list.
Household – That broken board on our shed ramp or a broken porch step can lead to a broken leg or a lawsuit. Letting maintenance go affects safety, property values, and neighborhood goodwill. Gotta fight some mildew in the shower‚Ä¶
Marriage – Jobs and children tend to squeak more loudly than husbands – until things get seriously bad. Respecting my husband especially in ways particularly important to him is good marriage maintenance. Earlier dinner has been a big hit here. I’d like the joys and stimulation of a life shared not lived merely parallel.
Medical – Here it is especially tempting to think, “If I ignore it, it will go away.” A small spot tended to is easier to deal with than an invasive condition. I should check on the reason for an ache before it becomes a debilitating issue.
Parenting – In the press of feeding, clothing, chauffeuring, refereeing, teaching, etc., it’s easy to miss the cry of young hearts to feel heard and valued by us. I wish I’d had an ear quicker to listen and a tongue slower to speak.
Play – Without play, we lose some of the joy God intends for us – and so do those around us. If I had valued play more and built in time for it, our home would’ve been more relaxed and felt more accepting. Walking through a mud puddle and good ole belly laughs are healthy.
Physical – Knowing the benefit of exercise and healthy eating doesn’t give me those benefits. I have to get out and move, I have to pass up the donut and grab an apple. Putting off in this area costs me in many others because of the impact my health has on everything else.
Relationships – We need people – and they need us. We don’t have to host fancy parties. We can make phone calls or send emails. When we lose connection with people, we lose enjoyment, comfort, mutual sharpening, accountability. I should initiate more often instead of leaving that with the other person. Even that can minister.
Rest – Build it in. To neglect this part of our design means a negative effect all around. I’m learning I think much more clearly when I go to bed by 10. Those around us are affected by our state of tiredness. It’s not a good idea to get used to operating that way.
We avoid the decay and leaks of Ecclesiastes 10:18 when we do what needs doing when it needs doing.
What benefits will you see from timely attention to something this week?