How I Slayed the Dragon of Procrastination

Clock in the trash can
Procrastination kills. If you would grow to your potential, you must defeat procrastination. You must learn to manage your time and talent. Procrastination robs the world of the blessing God meant to give the world through you.  It kills projects, talent, relationships, and productivity.  Don’t let procrastination become a habit in your life. The procrastinators favorite hiding place is ‘someday isle.’  They always think, “Someday I’ll do this or that.”  Procrastination has its roots in fear, lies, and laziness.

Some people procrastinate because they fear they will fail or not attain perfection.  Perfectionists are great procrastinators.

Some people think they will have more time later.  No, you won’t!  Time is passing by right now.  You won’t have more time to finish it, you will have less.

Some underestimate how long projects take.  When I estimate how long a project will take, I give it my best guess and then double it to allow for things to go wrong and unplanned problems to appear as they most certainly will.

Some people mistakenly believe that they must ‘feel like’ doing a project before they will start.  Actually, if you start a project, you will feel like doing it. The most important word in slaying this dragon is begin.

How I Beat Procrastination
Procrastination had a tight hold on my life.  Sometimes it still rears its ugly head.  I learned a number of things and took some concrete steps to overcome it.

First, as I grew, I kept getting burned by procrastination.  Procrastination stole from me lots of money through lost financial aid, lost work, late fees, and poor last minute decisions.  It also took from me opportunities to do some really cool things and get better grades due to missed deadlines and poor last minute work.  I hate getting ripped off.  Once I realized that procrastination took from me rather than gave to me, I made up my mind to kill it.

It took some time and mental effort to realize why I procrastinated.  For me, I did it because I was lazy.  I rationalized that I could do what I wanted rather than do what I needed and still get the project done Occasionally, I feared rejection and failure and that fear paralyzed me.

Second, I saw my laziness for what it was: sinful.  I began to overcome it like any other sin.  Since lies are the basis for every sin, I learned and memorized the truth.  I found scriptures that spoke the truth about the battles going on in my mind and memorized them.  Whenever my flesh wanted to be lazy, the scripture would come to my mind and I would act on the truth instead of the lie.
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 6:6, Proverbs 28:19, Ephesians 5:15-16, Proverbs 14:23

Third, I learned that discipline brings freedom.  I forced myself to get ahead of projects and I became addicted to the freedom and reward accomplishment brings. The thought of the reward of accomplishment began to win over the temporary satisfaction of procrastination.

Fourth, I learned that when you start a project, even when you don’t feel like it, the feelings will follow.  I learned physics: an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.  When I started a project, it created a positive momentum. It then became easier to keep going rather than stop.  The trick is just to start! I prayed and asked God for courage.

As I grew older, I realized three things: 1) life happens; 2) you will never have more time than you do this second; and 3) it takes me longer to do good work than I thought.  Procrastination forced me to run projects right to the edge of available time.  When unforeseen things happened, I lost out or turned in poor work.  Proverbs says, “A prudent man sees trouble ahead and prepares for it, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (22:3)

Ultimately, my love for and desire to please my heavenly Father motivated me to manage my life to bring him the most glory. Lazy, minimum effort, and work does not do that. Get to know God and you will want to make him famous.

The Most Valuable Real Estate — Tracing a Nation’s Journey

 Generations hands

If I can change what you believe about history. I can control your decisions today.

Our lives are a combination of: 1) the understanding of our past;  2) our present decisions; 3) future consequences.  If I can change your understanding of the past, I can control your present decisions and thus alter your future. If I can do this collectively, on a large scale, I can control the fate of nations.

The most prized piece of real-estate in any culture is not on the ocean.  The most prized piece of real-estate lies between the ears of its people – the meta-narrative.  Every culture has a meta-narrative – the story above the story or the story about the story.  The meta-narrative answers the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny.

The founders of our nation brought with them a meta-narrative that told us that God created all men. And out of our relationship with the Creator came meaning, morality, and destiny. However, in the late 1800’s, the story began to change.

•    In 1859, Darwin told us that God wasn’t necessary for our origins.
•    In 1883, Julius Wellhausen told us that the Scriptures do not come to us from God but rather from evolving men.
•    In 1925, the Scopes trial told us that we can choose – intelligence and science or ignorance and religion.
•    In 1948, Alfred Kinsey told us that normal sexual behavior resembled that of an alley cat with perverse sexual tendencies. (No one told us that Kinsey was a zoologist who rigged his science to legitimize perversity. He secretly trashed three quarters of his data. And based his claims on a roughly 86% aberrant male population including 200 sexual psychopaths, 1,400 sex offenders and hundreds each of prisoners, male prostitutes and promiscuous homosexuals. He also encouraged child sexual abuse for his studies.  He encouraged pedophiles to abuse children and take notes on it then deliver the journals back to Kinsey.  (http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo8/8reisman.php)
•    In 1952, Hugh Hefner capitalized on Kinsey’s work and he redefined “the pursuit of happiness.”
•    In the 1960’s, Herbert Marcuse, a German socialist, became the brains of the counterculture movement.  He told a generation of hippies that whatever is right is wrong and whatever is wrong is right.  “One can rightfully speak of a cultural revolution, since the protest is directed toward the whole cultural establishment, including [the] morality of existing society.” (Marcuse, cited in Andrew Breitbart, Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2011), p. 114.))
•    In 1973, The Supreme Court told us that you’re not human unless you live outside the womb.
•    In 1975, John Lennon told us that the best possible world is one without God, heaven or hell.
•    In 1991, Kurt Kobain told us that ultimate meaning is found in the pursuit of mindless pleasure: “I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now, entertain us.” (I guess later he realized this doesn’t work.)
•    In 2011, Lady Gaga told us in her theological and anthropological effort that whatever our pathologies, we’re OK because we were “born that way.”

Our nation needs to hear again, that God created them for a purpose — to know and enjoy Him; however, our hearts are sinful and desperately need a redeemer.  Only Jesus qualifies.

A Peace Broke Out

Peace

One hundred years ago, in the trenches of World War I, a peace broke out. German and British forces laid down their weapons, exchanged gifts and sang Christmas carols in no-man’s land.

Pvt. Oswald Tilley of the London Rifle Brigade wrote to his parents: “Just you think that while you were eating your turkey, etc., I was out talking and shaking hands with the very men I had been trying to kill a few hours before!! It was astounding.”

Because of an invasion 2000 years ago, men of war found cause for peace.

In our increasingly chaotic and violent world, only the Prince of Peace can offer hope. For men are not at peace with their fellow man because they are not at peace with God. Our nature is bent toward selfishness, power and pleasure. Out of God’s character, He gives us a moral law with which to govern our relationship with Him and our fellow men.  However, we have all made decisions that have broken the law of God. Because we have sinned against an infinite God, we owe an infinite debt that only infinity could pay.

2000 years ago, infinity made an appearance. Jesus came to pay an infinite debt to the Father.

Of all the major religions, only Christianity has an incarnation – the infinite added the temporal so that our temporary lives could be eternally significant.

The perfect of heaven arrived to the hell of earth so that those deserving of hell could receive the perfect of heaven.

The peace of heaven arrived to the war on earth so that the people of earth could experience the peace of heaven.

The freedom of heaven arrived to the slavery of earth so that the slaves of earth could experience the freedom of heaven.

The infinite life put on dying flesh so that dying flesh could experience infinite life

After, the peace broke out in World War I, the battles grew increasingly bloody. Commanders began using poison gas and each side increasingly viewed each other as less than human.  When we refuse the Prince of Peace, we fail to recognize and become what God made us to be.

2000 years ago, the fullness of God, draped himself with humanity so that humanity could reflect fully the image of God.

If you haven’t found a relationship with God through the Prince of Peace, lay down your weapons and bow your heart before the child King and He will bring you into a land whose builder and maker is God.

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15

Jesus — When we realize who he is, we begin discovering who we are.

Jesus surprised a lot of people. It was an entrance into the very world he created that nobody anticipated. From his birth and into his adult life, people questioned his identity. Was he the one? From Nazareth? Another king?  All of us search for identity. One of the greatest accomplishments of this child is that when we realize who he is, we begin discovering who we are. Jesus points to three life-defining truths: 1. We are a unique special creation of God. 2. We carry a selfish heart that drives us to sinful actions. 3. We are infinitely valuable and created to be an important part of God’s redemption plan. Each of these truths are highly contested within the culture.

Some would have us believe that we are nothing special. A product of time, plus chance, plus matter. From the goo, into the zoo, then became you. Others will proclaim that we are a part of the great life force of the universe. The same essence and nature as well…nature.  We are all god. Umm, if all of us are god, then none of us are god. Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection substantiated that you are a special creation of God — unique in the universe. He even counts the strands of your hair.

The second idea — that we carry a sinful heart with a rap sheet of sinful actions has gone out of favor. We don’t like the idea that we are anything but good. 

Humanity has tried to erase that label – sinner. 

  • We say we are sick rather than sinful, and we have become the most medicated generation in history. 
  • We say we are good not bad as the headlines cataloging human behavior grow more bizarre and grotesque each day.
  • I’m not so bad; we create our own pseudo reality through comparison.  I’m not as bad as…  But the question isn’t if I’m as bad as … but rather, am I as good as God?
  • We say there are no rules, no ultimate morality yet we cry for justice in our courts and we easily point the finger at the villain of the month. But God has it right my friends, the human problem we need saving from is not sickness, it is sinfulness. That’s what the baby in the manger is all about.

We can celebrate with gifts and lights, but Jesus put on human life, so he could die for human depravity. We owed God an infinite debt because of our sin. Jesus came to pay the price so that we might live. This brings us to the last truth — we are of infinite value. An object is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.  It cost the Father, Jesus to redeem us. We all wear a Jesus price tag. The baby in the manger, carried the currency to pay our debt. On the cross, it poured out so that we could have life.  He who has the Son has life! Merry Christmas!