Have you ever been happy to have an excuse to not do something you really didn’t want to do? I laugh at funny excuses like, “oh, sorry I have to floss my cat that day,” “my goldfish is ill, so I can’t,” or “my psychic told me not to.” Some of my excuses probably seem that silly to God.
I’ve used a pretty consistent health excuse for nearly three decades. And in truth, my strength gets zapped and I focus on survival mode. But a new thought is infiltrating this interesting comfort zone. “If you had more energy and if you had no pain, what would you do with that time?”
What would I do?! Would I automatically start checking off the perpetual To Do list? Or would I yearn for my previous comfort zone and reliable excuses and find another one to satisfactorily justify me?
I’ve never felt like a lazy person per se, just productive in spurts as health dictated. These thoughts caused quite a bit of introspection and examination.
During these flashes of reflection, a meme synchronously appeared on my Instagram feed.
“Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God owes you another chance to do tomorrow what He gave you a chance to do today.” Bishop Rosie O’Neal
That shook my soul.
I wanted more to really understand what she meant. So I googled the quote and found the more I sought.
Bishop Rosie O’Neal said that God gave her that definition of “procrastination.”
As a leader, sometimes we feel safer when we are comfortable. Well, God is calling for you to “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!” Remember this: you will not grow to where God wants you to if you stay comfortable. For a leader, comfort can be a killer—of dreams, opportunities, favor and ultimately purpose.
Procrastination is a thief that steals from your destiny and causes you to miss out on Divine opportunities and appointments. Stop putting off for tomorrow what you can accomplish today![Procrastination is] the behavioral by-product of a lack of understanding about the delay of an opportunity which is grace. It is the arrogant assumption that God owes you another chance to do tomorrow what He gave you a chance to do today.
What did God give me the chance to do today?
We’ve been called to do so many large and small tasks as we labor in the Lord’s vineyard before His Second Coming. The scriptures are full of ideas and real-life examples of ways the Lord can use us if we’re ready and excuse-free.
Here are a few scriptures that stuck out to me as I searched the scriptures about acting today.
[H]ear my voice while it is called today, and harden not your hearts….
Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;
Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance.
Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.
How does procrastination delay grace?
Jesus Christ’s Atonement broke the bonds of sin and death. He redeemed us from spiritual prison. Part of that redemption includes a freedom and power to act.
And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
Procrastination delays action. When we choose procrastination, we choose situations where we are acted upon—by deadlines or temptations or defensiveness or a million other masters inaction breeds. We literally give away our power and freedom.
Christ’s grace raises us not only from the grave, but raises our capabilities, our vision, our freedom to act again, our light. And even in the midst of physical limitation or financial or emotional or any kind of struggle, grace gives us an opportunity to act according to our capabilities.
This shifted my vision from, well, I can’t do that because of my limitation…to, hey, I can do this in spite of my limitation. The “can do” actions, in my sphere and ability, though very small still contribute to the Lord’s work.
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
A heart and a willing mind are what the Lord requires. Those can be available in any excusable circumstance. It’s so beautiful and amazing to me that the grace of God can use the smallest effort to accomplish His purposes. And that effort happens when I don’t procrastinate.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
He created me and you in our environments, full of weaknesses and clumsy attempts, to bring off His Zion. Time and chance happens to all of us.
Choose to act and receive your Divine opportunities and appointments!
[L]et us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.