Procrastination is Googled 550,000 times per day.
We all like to say it. One day I’d like to-and you fill in the blank. One day I’d like to run a marathon. One day I’d like to write a book. One day I want to climb Mt. Everest. One day I’ll look like that. One day I’ll be happy. One day I won’t worry anymore. One day I’ll land the job I really want. One day I’ll try something new. One day, one day, one day. The thoughts of that day can sometime consume our time so much that our life is a progression of wondering what’s next instead of living the little actions that will move us into the here and now. I want to do so many different things and it seems like all of those possibilities fight to be the number one manipulator of my thoughts and emotions. I spend so much time worrying about how one choice will eliminate another option, that I waste days and months and years feeling sorry for the fact that I’m locked into my current way of living. I tell myself that I don’t have time to write because my kids are a distraction and there is not a single quiet space left in my life. Then I feel that my life’s purpose is stifled by having chosen to bear children and my attitude quickly disintegrates into this deep down well-wishing that the obstacle of noisy little brats could just be permanently eliminated. Soon I wake up and realize that the quality time I’m spending with my kids is tainted by guilt, bitterness and a preoccupation with how they’re ruining my dreams and aspirations. And then I get tired and wearily conclude that one day things will get better. One day I’ll reach the horizon I had always imagined to exist. One day I will be a successful writer and speaker. One day someone will love me for me. One day I will write a song that becomes a huge success. One day I will be a worship leader instead of a music director. But today, I just don’t have what it takes to move outside this box that keeps me caged up with fear and doubt. Today, I’ll waste another 24 hours feeling sorry about my circumstances and how no one understands me but me. And the thoughts bounce around my head as if my brain is stuck inside the four walls of a racquetball room with no way out. My old habits are the opponent. And I’m losing.
Every time I’m in the car with the kids and I drive past a lake of water, I point to it and tell them longingly that I absolutely love canoeing. “One day we should go canoeing,” I say. Then I follow up by telling them that I used to go canoeing, when I was younger, of course and that it is such a dreamy time—getting out there in the middle of the water—nature at your dominion or vice versa. Then they say, “Mommy, can we go canoeing this weekend?” And I say, “Oh maybe next weekend, this is just not a good time. Everything is so busy.” And I think about all the preparation that it will take to actually make it out to the lake with a whole family of inexperienced canoers. The possibilities of what could go wrong are endless. I can’t even imagine that it would come close to the picture I’d painted for them every time we’d driven across the familiar bridge. Sometimes this turns into a whole summer of disappointment, where we sit idly by waiting for that perfect time to do something fun—frozen in fear that it just won’t be worth the effort.
Doing good is like that. You cross so many bridges that make you wish you were out on the lake—but in reality, the destination is only an inth of the journey. And quite frankly, most of us just never end up taking the journey. We may get so far as researching the perfect spot to canoe. Maybe shop around a little for the best deals on our own personal lifejacket that make us look cute in the boat. But we rarely make it to destination because we get stuck somewhere along the way with the thought of “One day.” And there is never a better time to start the journey than now. Because the perfect moment to “get it all together” just doesn’t exist.
Though I had always dreamed of doing great things, it wasn’t like there was a roadmap to the place where I would finally know I had arrived. And now that I’m there, I’m wondering if I should have just stayed at home. One day, I decided through divine intervention, that part of my destiny was to adopt three teenagers from another country. I knew instinctively that it wasn’t some dreamy fairy tale in which God was going to sprinkle magic dust on my life to protect me from reality. It felt like a duty, a call to action, a journey to survive. But more than anything it was a destination. The destination of obedience. A lifelong journey of trying to give what I felt God calling me to give. Every step of the way has been so hard. But I can say that I believe God is with me. He sees me crying at night and He always gives me hope, enough to keep me afloat. From the bottom of my heart, I do not know how others survive the reality of doing good without God’s grace covering them from top to bottom. Sure I think the grace is messy and a little like exercise. You feel great when you take that first step, but taking the first step is what makes you realize its benefits.