Sometimes Procrastination Can Be a Good Thing
I have oft been accused, and rightly so, of being a procrastinator. Yes, I'm that guy who buys Christmas presents on December Eve, who wrote every college term paper the night before it was due, and who regularly goes to bed saying, "I'll handle that tomorrow." I know I should strive to get things done in a more timely manner, but to be frank, all of you Type-A personalities who finish things six months in advance just drive me crazy!
I'm not as bad as I once was, but I will freely admit that I still struggle with the temptation to put off harder projects and less than pleasant tasks for a later date. However, I've learned that procrastination can be a good thing when done for the right reasons. Let me explain.
Think of a time when you saw on Facebook that one of your friends just picked up the latest smart phone or bought a shiny new car or even moved in to a huge new house. Wasn't there a part of you that wanted to rush out and get the same thing? Suddenly your phone was tragically outdated, you noticed every scratch and dent on your car, and you couldn't even fathom how you've managed to survive for so long with so little square footage!
So what do you do when that urge hits? Hopefully, you turn to God and seek His guidance before busting out the credit card or rushing to the bank for a loan. Considering that the credit card debt in our country just hit an all-time high of one trillion dollars, it would appear that this is NOT what most people do.
However, if you are willing to seek God's guidance before making that huge purchase or committing to a life altering decision, what are you going to do if God says, "No. That's not what you need right now." Are you willing to put off what you want today, for as long as it takes, until God says yes? If you are, then rejoice in your willingness to procrastinate because you should never do today what God wants you to do tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that, or even never. Consider the following verse from Scripture.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3, NIV)
While the prophet Habakkuk was dealing with a much bigger issue than whether or not he should buy a new home or change to a new job, the principle of what God said to him remains the same. God reveals His plan in His time. When we combine this with the reminder of Jeremiah 29:11, that God has wonderful plans for us, we really shouldn't mind putting off the plans we have for today so we can wait for the better things God has in store for tomorrow.
Still struggling? Take a moment to think about what this passage as well.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5, ESV)
That, my friends, is a promise from God. Ask for what you need to know, and it will be given. However, did you notice that it didn't say when it will be given? The very next verse begins with, "but let him ask in faith." To seek God for what you need to know means having the faith the He will answer AND being willing to wait for as long as it takes for Him to speak.
I still recognize that true procrastination isn't a good thing, but sometimes it's not procrastinating; it's waiting on God!
Today, be willing to wait on God for as long as it takes. Be willing to put your plans on hold, trusting that His plans for you will come at exactly the right time.