You really love the title of this blog post, don’t you? The word ‘procrastination’ kind of gives me an automatic knot in my stomach. I will freely admit that I am a regular procrastinator–not nearly as much as I used to be, but it stills happens on occasion.
Why do we procrastinate? Is it because we’ve set ourselves up for failure by trying to fit too much into our days? Is it because we’re filling what should be relaxation time with more work? Is it because we’re irresponsible? Is it because we don’t want to face reality? Is it because we misplace our priorities? Is it because we’re afraid of success, so we subconsciously sabotage ourselves?
It could be any of those reasons, or a combination of several. I tend to sabotage myself. I don’t know why. I know that God has given me the ability to be successful (whatever that means) in the things that I do, insofar as they depend on me doing my work, but I’m hesitant to step into that role. It’s a lot of responsibility and takes self-discipline to keep everything going. So I occasionally let a ball or two drop. I’m not saying that we’re not allowed to make mistakes or that we need to be perfect. We will always forget things, but we don’t always need to willfully choose to put something off.
During the weeks that I am on top of my homework, housework, and churchwork I’ve found that God will send extra opportunities my way. I think of these as real-life ministry opportunities that He has orchestrated. To me these are the most rewarding and fulfilling ministry opportunities. One week I was able to visit a friend who doesn’t get out of the house much, and another whose husband was recovering from an accident.
Another week I was able to go to a vegan cooking class with my grandma and aunt. I found out about it the day before, and because my other work was done, I could make that last-minute decision to attend.
On the night that the youth group gals and I made caramel corn, I could play games with everyone else because my work was done.
Another day I got to go out for coffee with a friend from church who asked me last minute, and we had a chance to get to know each other a little better.
I’m sure there were other instances for off-the-cuff ministry and/or connection with other people that I can’t think of right now. My point is that procrastination not only causes stress and difficulties for the one who is doing the procrastinating, it also robs us of the opportunities for connection and service that God wants to send our way. He has a plan for your life, and He will at least partially communicate that to you through the people and circumstances He sends your way.
So…get your regular work done on time and be on the look-out for all the extra opportunities that God will be making available to you! (This advice is just as much for me, as it is for you.) I’m curious to hear if God has sent any serendipitous events your way that you took advantage of. What happened? How did it affect you or others? Did you have your work done so that you could feel relaxed and open to the opportunity?