“What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” ~Scottish Proverb
I love sports. I’ll watch or play just about anything. It probably helps that I’m atheletic and can play just about any sport I’m interested in. Time on the court, the field, or in the gym is therapeutic and natural to me. So when my wife decided that she was going to run a marathon I thought “Why not?” I’ll train with her and support her passion. She loves to run. A small run for her is 5-7 miles. Anything over 3 feels like work to me. I don’t enjoy running because I’m competitive. I want to see results change. I want to feel like I’m getting faster or stronger than the person next to me. Going for a run is no more fun for me than my wife working on her bench press. Nonetheless, for 5 months I trained to run a half marathon. I ran a half marathon twice before, once in high school and the other last year. However, this time I wanted to really cut some time off, and I did by almost 17 minutes. But in addition to running the marathon, I decided this year I would do it for a cause. I signed up with Team World Vision and began to try to raise money and awareness for those suffering in extreme poverty around the world. I contacted friends and family consistently for months via email, Facebook, and Twitter. However, in the end I failed to meet my goal.
The day after my race, as I complained on Facebook about how sore I was, I had a friend send me a message “I feel like such a loser. I wanted to donate to your cause and totally procrastinated it away”.
At first I didn’t think anything of it, but for some reason my mind came back to it later as I remembered Jesus telling his disciples that in the final judgement people will be asked “Where were you when I was hungry, naked, sick, or in prison?” This verse in particular has been a major piece of what I’ve been trying to do over the past year. As I thought about what my friend had said I realized, this statement isn’t for all those “evil” people out there who don’t care and never would think about doing anything to help the poor. It’s for all those well intentioned, kind, compassionate people who said “I’ll make a donation tomorrow” and never did. It’s all the people who started small groups so they could change their church from the inside out, and never wound up making it past their living room.
We’ve all been there. Best intentions and all that. “I’ll volunteer next time” or “check back with me in a month when my schedule clears”. But each time an opportunity to serve others comes up we have another reason to procrastinate. Here’s the scary part though, most Christian’s believe that Jesus will return “like a thief in the night”. You’ll never know when He will return. This is a scary reality for procrastinators. Think how terrified you would have been if your teacher had said on Monday “Your homework could be due any day this week”. How long would you have put it off? Would you do it the first day? Or would you say to yourself “I’ve got all week”? What would you have done if you showed up Tuesday in class and you heard “pass your assignments forward”? Would you try to talk your way out of it? Try to reason with the teacher “You can’t expect us to do our homework when we don’t have a due date do you”? Deep down would you really expect any sympathy as you watch all your classmates passing in their completed assignements?
Things that are important to us we don’t procrastinate. We plan and shop for months to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, or go on vacation. Women want a man who has planned an elaborate wedding proposal. Men want a football coach who spent all week designing plays to defeat their arch rival. And Jesus wants His followers to live their life like He’s coming back… NOW! Not some distant date closer to the end of your life. A book full of coulda, shoulda, woulda isn’t what will get you into heaven.