Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin,
for their hands refuse to work.
I want to make a confession. You won’t tell will you? Are your ears perked up? Is your attention peaked? First of all, I’m going to see if you can guess where I’m going. This culprit…I wouldn’t necessarily call it a sin, although it could be…keeps me from achieving my ultimate goals in life. It provides the whip for a lot of self-flagellation (figuratively speaking, of course). It keeps me guilt-ridden and ineffective when I yield to its smooth, laid-back enticements. Its words are as smooth and inviting as the chocolate Frosty I get at…well, you know where! But, just like that Frosty, after I’ve partaken, I can feel the guilt of the indulgence weighing me down. Any ideas yet?
Okay…okay, enough suspense! This sneaky, slithering, but most effective spawn of Satan is embodied in one word…procrastination! Truthfully, I’m not even sure that Satan has anything to do with it many times. I’m quite sure that I am perfectly capable of talking myself into relaxing into its open arms…and the excuses for doing so are innumerable! “I’m just too tired.” “It can wait until tomorrow.” “I don’t feel well.” “I’m just not in the right frame of mind.” They go on and on…ad infinitum. Can you relate? If not, I am very envious of your tremendous self-control!
For example, at the beginning of every year I say I am going to journal. I start out the first week doing pretty well, but I can’t tell you how many new journals I have started that have only a few entries. And this blog? For a long time I was very faithful to write every two or three days. Then disruptions came, as they often will and I got lazy. (Laziness is a close relative of procrastination.) I procrastinated for so long that I lost inspiration…not a good thing for a writer. What does the Bible say about such a situation? Paul the Apostle says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.”
Does the Bible say for you to pray that the enthusiasm for your spiritual gift be restored? No. Does it say to get your pastor to pray? No. Does it say for you to believe that your enthusiasm be restored? No. Well, what does it say then? It says for YOU to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you! It is up to you and me! God is not going to prod us with a lightening bolt. He may speak to us softly in our inner man, but He will not make us do anything.
If you have a tendency to be a procrastinator, as I do, it will not be easy to change that lifestyle or habit. It will take initiative and determination! It will not be comfortable. Our mind and body almost always want to follow the path of least resistance. But even though I am a procrastinator, I am also a very strong-willed person. When I have had enough of my own laziness, I make myself fan those smoldering embers of whatever project I have started or need to start until they become a full fledged fire! Embers have potential, but Holy Spirit Fire is powerful! People can see it from afar and draw close to the warmth of its glow. And the more you fan it, the more powerful it becomes.
I’ve often heard it said, “You can be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both.” I would like to add a saying of my own to that one. “You can procrastinate or proliferate, but you can’t do both!”
I encourage you today, as I did in beginning my writing again, dust off your bellows and start fanning that fire within you until it flames brightly once again!