I’m a senior in high school, and this past year I have especially struggled with the idea of not having enough time and motivation to get my schoolwork and other responsibilities taken care of. It seemed I spent more time avoiding my responsibilities than I spent facing them. In most cases I ended up doing everything at the last minute.
Fortunately, I found this passage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Wait for your reward, and ‘be not weary in well doing.’ If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race” (p. 22). What this passage tells us is that we should not be reluctant or afraid to do what God guides us to do. This spoke to me because one of the reasons I was avoiding my responsibilities was because I did not see any immediate benefit in facing them; however, after reading this quote, I realized that I was becoming a “sluggard in the race,” which made me feel very uncomfortable with myself. This passage pretty much defined my experience with procrastination, and it was very helpful for me to stumble upon this when I most needed it.
Further on down that page it says, “When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving.” After reading this, I chose to make an effort to face my responsibilities head-on instead of avoiding them, and I found that not only in the long term did I feel better about myself, but in the short term also. What I enjoy about this second quote is that, while we don’t have to earn God’s impartial love, there is a direct relationship between how much good you do and how much good you see manifested in your life (according to your deserving); if we work hard to do what’s right, we are rewarded well. This comforts me.
We should not be reluctant or afraid to do what God guides us to do.
An important thing that I discovered after this experience is that I was afraid of my responsibilities instead of being grateful for them. Some lines in Science and Health that I found helpful state: “Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God’s care” (p. 66). This shows us that, while God does not send us trials, meeting and conquering adversity with courage is a form of blessing because it allows us to strengthen our spiritual understanding and prove God’s allness. This passage has inspired me to be grateful for my challenges because they help me get closer to God and His kingdom. In addition, I found that being grateful for challenges (as well as for the good) in my life has made me a happier and less doubtful person.
This experience reminded me of the story in the Bible when Moses is told by God to go to Egypt to free his people. Initially he is reluctant to leave his home because he doesn’t believe he has the ability to do what God is asking him to do. However, his actions in Egypt are guided by God, and he overcomes his troubles with the help of God. This shows that trials are proof of God’s care because Moses confronted the task that was before him with the help of God, and he trusted more in God as a result. I often think of this story when I have fears in my own life that I am struggling with, and I thought about this story as I prayed about overcoming procrastination.
Anyway … I am so grateful that both the Bible and Science and Health have so much inspiration on overcoming fears and being grateful for our challenges. These books have inspired me to recognize God’s presence as I face everyday issues and have triumphs, too.
Andrew Boyd lives in California, where he enjoys surfing and playing the guitar around family.
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