Time really flies, a good part of 2013 has already gone us by. As we enter into the second half of the year, what are some unfinished, or untouched, tasks on your to-do list? These would be things that you have purposed and prioritized in your heart to do at the beginning of the year, but for some reason have not been given due needed attention.
2013 will come to a close before we know it. Come 31 December, what would you wake up to and be surprised to find when you take stock of the year?
When that time comes, I hope that you will be surprised at how much you have grown in the course of the year, and be able to celebrate the completion of your 2013 to-do list because you have intentionally made time to work on them. On the other hand, I hope that we will not look back and receive a rude wake-up call at our status-quo lives.
In Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV), a wise man makes some insightful observations about the owner of the vineyard, and draws for us, life lessons on the danger of procrastination:
“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.”
This short passage has two key learning lessons. First, the vineyard did not fall into a state of ruin overnight. Once fruitful, it now lay in a state of dilapidation due to the prolonged neglect of its owner. Once an asset, the land has become a liability. The lesson is clear — prolonged neglect leads to disaster.
Next, notice the repeated phrase, ‘a little…a little…a little’. This is the thrust of the wise man’s message! Such ‘little’ things can include our procrastination, our sloth, our excuses, and our complacency in thinking that we still have time on our side. A little lethargy in spiritual disciplines will surely and steadily gnaw away at your spiritual life and vitality.
Conversely, when we are intentional about caring and nourishing the ‘little things’ in our lives that are crucial to our spiritual growth and physical wellbeing, we will begin to experience significant growth and progress over time. For example, setting aside time to spend with our Lord each day, or having a reading plan for the Bible, or joining a church cell group or small group Bible study are all steps in the right direction. Little acts of discipline could also come in the form of developing an exercise plan to stay healthy and shed those kilos.
Perhaps you have been mulling over, and putting off certain decisions. Now will be a good time to start on something manageable, and stay at it.
We are four months away from 2014. As we reevaluate our current priorities and to-do lists, let us heed the word of the wise man — to procrastinate no longer but to be decisive and act now!
Lam Kok Hiang