Autumn is the time of year where part of me just wants to collapse with a cup of tea and a good book under a blanket and do nothing but read all day long. Or I want to be outside taking long walks and not being overwhelmed with my pollen allergies. There’s something about the fall that makes me want to chill out constantly. Unfortunately, the fall is the time of year when I get the busiest. I’m always running, but in fall I run crazy.
And I don’t know about you guys, but the more I have to do, the more tempted I am not to do any of it. I have a lazy streak. Anyone who’s ever been to my house and seen my crazy load of dishes waiting to be done realizes that. I’ve actually got dishes waiting to be done today, although I’m going to do my best to get them done tonight.
It’s easy to put things off, but it’s a bad habit to get into. And some things in life really can’t wait, the harvest being among them. If you don’t harvest your crops when they’re ready, you’ll lose them. And that’s something you can’t get back.
Today’s verse is Proverbs 20:4.
Those too lazy to plow in the right season
will have no food at the harvest.
The Bible has so many examples of why we should get our work done while we have time it’s hard to pick one. And I’m sure everyone has a story about a time when they had an opportunity to accomplish something and didn’t and the chance never came up again. But most recently, I experienced something that made me think about procrastination.
Folks who follow this blog know I live in Kansas, state of unpredictability and ridiculous wind speeds. I had a friend out visiting recently, and I have been working on broadening her horizons as a geek. So we’ve been watching a lot of nerdy movies. Anyway, as we were watching a movie, I heard something unusual.
Here’s the thing. To be in my 100-year-old farmhouse’s basement and be able to hear the wind outside is rare. This old place is so solid the wind has to be blowing at 70 miles per hour before I can hear it, and we couldn’t just hear the wind. We could feel it. The whole house shook like a freight train had struck it. For a moment, we dashed up to the main level, but the windows were rattling so violently that I thought they would shatter. So we retreated to the basement. We checked the storm channel briefly, and (of course) the only little circle of pink in the entire storm front was parked right over my house.
Fortunately, it didn’t last long, and the majority of the damage was to my outbuildings like my barns and my chicken coop (60 years old and blown eight inches off its foundation). But as we finished up our movie, my friend remembered that she had something she needed to do for work. And it required internet access. I thought there would be no problem. Well … hurricane force winds tend to wreak havoc with internet radio dishes bolted onto the roof of a house, and I had no internet.
It’s amazing how much you take little things like internet connectivity for granted. I had come to rely on my internet connection for nearly everything, and not having it was crippling. Not to mention my poor friend needed a way to accomplish something for work, and with my internet down, she was out of luck. (Fortunately, we determined that a 3G Kindle will run Joomla. So she was actually able to get her work done on my Kindle, of all things.)
But the point is this: How many times do we put things off because we assume we will be able to do them later? I do this all the time. I shove responsibilities to the side because I think I can accomplish them at a later date, but then–surprise! Life happens. Things get in the way. My plans don’t work out the way I expected, and before I know it, I’ve lost the opportunity to get it done.
Sometimes it’s with unimportant things. Other times, it’s with important things. And we don’t always have a piece of technology around (like a 3G Kindle) to eke out a solution. Really, we don’t have the time to waste. It’s not always fun (actually, it’s rarely fun) to do work first, but it’s better. And somehow, you end up with more time after you do what you’re supposed to do than you would have had if you skipped it. I don’t know if any of you have experienced that, but I have. Yet it’s still difficult to remind myself of that.
If we do the things we’re supposed to do first before we play, God blesses our time. It’s like He makes us more productive. I’ve seen it happen too many times for it to be coincidental, but I still seem to have trouble remembering it when it comes to doing my dishes.
So if you’re putting something off (dishes or otherwise), I encourage you to do it now. Don’t wait until it’s convenient. Just do it. Because you’re not in charge of your life. Maybe you think you are, but you’re just fooling yourself. Whether you’ve given your life to Christ or not, you aren’t the commander of the cosmos; God is.
Do what needs doing today. You might not get a chance tomorrow. And if you miss the chance, you might not ever get it back.