We are all good at coming up with excuses for not taking on daunting or demanding tasks. While some reasons are rooted in plain old laziness, many are tied to much more subtle, inner workings of our soul such as perfectionism or fear of failure. These tendencies, as old as humankind itself, were addressed in the ancient wisdom book of Ecclesiastes – “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV). This verse implies that perfect conditions and timing may never come for doing what we must.
Just Do It
Excuses for procrastinating, “watching the wind” and “looking at the clouds” have too often kept us from accomplishing the tasks (planting or reaping) on our to-do list that in the end promise us great benefit or profit. Nike in a genius attempt to sell shoes, with the pretext of helping couch potatoes get out on the road, court, and gym – cashed in by calling out this tendency in all of us with its “Just Do It” slogan.
The truth is that only faith and the gumption to take that first step necessary and make a start will break us free from our malaise and get us moving toward the blessings God has for us. And here is the key to success – God actually promises to strengthen us in our resolve to please Him and to do what is right. “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him” (Psalm 37:23 NIV). In other words, His grace will abound in strengthening and establishing each step, however halting, that we can muster the courage to begin to take.
Try Won in the Battle of Can’t
My high school Latin teacher, ever encouraging her listless class to apply ourselves in learning that dead, but classical language, drilled into us what I now know to be a faith principle – “Try won in the battle of Can’t!” If you are battling procrastination in tackling some to-do list item that is haunting you, this could be just the nudge you need to cast all excuses aside, try, and begin.
Father, help me to cast aside my excuses in waiting for perfect conditions and timing to seize this day to make a start. Knowing that every journey begins and progresses just one step at a time, I purpose to trust You today to take the next step of faith that lies before me in my pursuit of realizing all You have for me. Free me from every hesitation and the things holding me back from confidently following Your lead in my life. Amen