There are certain tasks that I need to complete that would love postpone, perhaps forever. As I struggled with one recently, I began to think about the reasons behind my procrastination and avoidance. There are many reasons. They seem to vary with time, situation, and my energy level. I would like to say that I have only missed a couple, but life reminds me that there is a long list of missed accomplishments, many that will never be done.
I find myself wrestling with two outcomes of my avoidance that I want to change. First, what may be an exception in my life becomes something I accept as normal. Honoring commitments is a gift from my father. It is at the heart of my priorities and values, forming a foundation for much of what defines me. In looking at the misses, I realize there are things that I can control. I can manage what I accept and commit. I can ask for help, earlier and more often. I can refine my priorities, seeking a better balance between the immediate and required.
Second, I can decide to avoid acting on the inference that others, God included, will fail me as I fail others. Even without evidence in hand, I assume others are not going to be there, even when I have their commitment. If I am going to avoid acting on my fear, it means that I will have to reach out, stage engage, and at times make sure that I do my part in the process of their delivery. The three steps include starting with a Psalmist’s prayer; “Don’t look the other way; your servant can’t take it. I’m in trouble. Answer right now!” (Psalm 69.17) It does not stop there, I will need to be involved, talking and sharing the mundane along with the important. And, at times, I will need to help by doing what I can do.
It is natural to assume others will fail to deliver, especially if one looks in the mirror. Just because we can, does not mean we will.