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This article originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor.
Many of us have felt the drag, the resistance to doing what needs to be done—to procrastinate or move along sluggishly—hoping the need for action will somehow pass us by, or maybe convincing ourselves that sometime in the future will be a better time to do it. But I’ve found that those “take action” times seem to keep drifting just out of reach, into the next moment, the next day, week, or year, and I’m only fooling myself by thinking that in the future I will somehow feel better, have more money, more time, more patience, be more mature, more ready, more .... But always at a later time.
It’s one thing when it involves putting off painting the front porch, changing a light bulb, or washing the car. Much more serious is postponing important things such as considering my life purpose, where I’m going spiritually, what my life goals are, or seriously addressing situations in which my life and happiness or the happiness and well-being of another are concerned.
Ironically, it often feels easier instead to accept the dismal prospect of being sick or sinful, even being dissatisfied with myself, or delaying acts of kindness and consideration for others, resisting or delaying forgiveness, promising myself that in some future time I will do the right thing. Maybe later I will apologize for some hurt or offense, be more helpful to others. I convince myself that I will pray at some time in the future for a better understanding of God’s love and its influence in my life. I have too often followed the reasoning of Felix, as described in the book of Acts in the Bible. When the Apostle Paul came to him to discuss the teachings of Jesus, “Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25).
About the author
Patrick M. Collins lives in McCaysville, Georgia.
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