This past week was Spring Break for my family. It was a great to have the opportunity to spend the week in the Great Smoky Mountains with my family (wife and sons). We took the opportunity to enjoy God's creation in miles of hiking and biking trails.
While headed up a trail called The Chimney Tops I noticed writing on the back of a t-shirt. The quote was simple, "Tomorrow, today." It reminded me of the importance of not procrastinating. Many of us are familiar with Benjamin Franklin saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow, what can be done today." and "You may delay, but time will not." These quotes are not to be confused with Mark Twain, "Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well."
There are times in all of our lives when we have jobs and tasks we face that we do not want to tackle. We avoid, we make excuses, and we find other jobs to start in hopes of delaying the inevitable. A mentor I had while living in Las Vegas, NV would tell me, "make a list of everything you need to do each day, and start with the one you are least looking forward, then your day will become more and more enjoyable." I have been guilty of not taking Tommy's advice, but on those days when I do, it's amazing how well things go.
Leadership master, John Maxwell teaches a leadership law titled, The Law of Diminishing Intent. Here is Maxwell’s explanation in an excerpt from his book:
“When I was a kid, one of my father’s favorite riddles to us went like this: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left?
“The first time he asked me, I answered, “One.”
“No,” he responded, “Five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing!”
Ouch. How many times have we said, “I should take them a meal, we should hang out again, I need to talk to him/her about…?” And so often what happens is that eventually the thought is gone and when we think about it again…later, much later, we rationalize to ourselves that too much time has passed and it would be awkward.
For the Christian…what is it you are putting off? Is there something in your life that you need to act on…yesterday? A conversation with a person, a reprioritizing of time, a commitment to flee from sin…etc. As I work with students and teach them the truths of the scripture, I remind them that time is NOW. Just as in many evangelistic methods, the evangelizer tries to draw the hearer with "you know none of us know the day or hour we might die…” Indeed, they are correct. I too don’t know the day or hour of my death or what will happen from moment to moment. I too must stand in conviction knowing that I may draw my last breath, saying, tomorrow I will tell _____________ about my relationship with Christ.
Tomorrow. Would you consider making tomorrow today? To take each moment captive. Is there a neighbor you need to show the love of Christ to? A co-worker you need to take to lunch and talk with about your spiritual journey? A class mate who needs to know you care? That past friendship / family relationship that needs to be reconciled? Would you make tomorrow…or next week…or later…or some time soon…TODAY?
Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Student Pastor, and Lover of all things Garlic and Bacon.