Ok. My One Word for this year is Integrity. But I have been putting off writing about it, so maybe my One Word should be Procrastination. But God is always at work, in the times we are in between things, waiting, or even when we are procrastinating.
I took stock of myself this week. Maybe it is the new month, new year…maybe it is my upcoming birthday. Y’all. I will be 45 tomorrow. Oh. My. Word. It is like talking about someone else! So here I am at my mid-life (in saying this, I guess I am planning to live to at least 90!), and I have reverted to a terrible childhood habit – procrastination.
I get up a little after 5am each day with the hubs. He is out of the door by 6am. Then there is, in some ways, the most golden hour of my day: absolute silence inside the house, lights dim with dawn breaking out of my window, the whole day ahead of me and, it is just me, all by myself. Moms out there, you know what I mean. 😉 So many choices vie for my time: dishwasher to empty, clothes to wash (always), prayer time, workout time, writing time, email, Facebook, staring out the window time…
Yet, this precious hour is sometimes filled with dread because, from the moment he leaves, I know the things I *should* do…but things I should do…I don’t do. I used to be very regimented – this was to overcompensate for years of being too unscheduled. Now I want to find some happy medium. And this week, I saw that all those years of procrastination have some things in common with my mornings these last few months: the feelings of dread and the fear of failure.
I realized this when I was talking with my dear, dear big girl yesterday. I started explaining to her how sometimes we put things off because we are afraid to start. And this set my thinking into motion. Because after all, the problem is:
Once you start – you have committed to a path – but what if it is the wrong path? What if the start, is in the wrong direction? What if your ideas are great, but your execution is lame? What if the promise you see in the task, or the event, or the day is never fulfilled? What if your performance isn’t, after all, extraordinary or special, but is rather ordinary and commonplace instead? What if you…disappoint?
And the Lord whispered to me this one word: Prepare. Preparation is the cure for procrastination. The heart must be prepared properly to embrace the tasks He sets before us. I’ve heard this somewhere: proper preparation prevents poor performance. And we must prepare ourselves to enter into His plan for our day, and trust the rest to Him. Because He is the Maker of the Stars. His plan is sure. My day, my life, and my heart are in His Hands.
I think we must:
- Keep in mind that being a part of God’s plan can never truly disappoint. The trick is remembering that when we think our plans are falling apart, it is just Him, rerouting them: The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Prov 16:9).
- Begin planning with Him in mind – this keeps our expectations humble. The outcome does not depend upon us, thankfully, but working with the Lord, rather than against Him, is what brings peace and joy. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established (Proverbs 16:3).
- Have an eternal perspective. Doing important work means we must acknowledge that God is the One who decides what is important. And He says, of us, that our purpose in life is more about Him than us: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
- Prepare your heart – plan to pursue excellence, because He is excellent. We must live not for our own glory, but for His: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Col 3:23-24).