This former procrastinator could always fall asleep quickly – mostly because I was sleep deprived and exhausted from cramming too much in one day. Staying asleep was something else. I would wake up tormented by thoughts of the consequences of things I had neglected. Because I did not do what needed doing when it needed doing, there were many things to haunt me – some quite serious. Fearful and guilty, I would get out of bed rather than lie there and be tortured. Praise God, He is changing that!
Relief came when I began to do what needed doing when it needed doing. I stopped adding new things to the pile up of consequences. As I learned, the Lord showed me how to tend to the old items.
Scripture describes what my life had been like. Ecclesiastes 10:18 “Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks.” (NKJV) Or, “Through sloth the roof sinks in and through indolence the house leaks.” (ESV)
I have faced that “procrastination” is my more acceptable way of labeling what scripture calls slothfulness, laziness, or indolence. Procrastinating makes me a sluggard.
Idleness? My hands were not idle in the sense that I did not work. In fact, I worked hard and got a lot done. However, I either played or – more often – chose to do other work besides what needed doing at the time.
Indolence? This has a root meaning “seeking to avoid pain.” Although I worked hard and got a lot done, I was choosing to do work that was more to my liking than the thing that needed doing most. I avoided the pain of the job I didn’t want to do.
That meant more pain ahead for me! Those around me also suffered the pain of my consequences.
A small hole is much easier to mend than a large one. One supporting beam is much easier to replace than several. Preventing decay requires diligence, but it’s much easier than repairing what’s begun to rot. When I don’t tend to the little leaks, they become large ones; there’s danger of a cave- in. Sometimes, the cave-in happens.
Big leaks and cave-ins are avoidable if we do what needs doing when it needs doing.
God has made us stewards of many things. We can’t do everything at once and He doesn’t expect us to. We are limited by our design and by time. However, He gives us wisdom and strength to be faithful to do what we ought when we ought. Being faithful to do what needs doing when it needs doing brings peaceful sleep in a sturdy house.
What hole do you need to plug before it becomes larger?